BRITAIN’S military chief has backed calls for more trials to see if MDMA can help cure soldiers’ PTSD.
Gen Sir Nick Carter, chief of the defence staff, said it could “make a critical difference” to vets’ trauma.
Controlled doses of MDMA — the active ingredient in ecstasy — appear to dampen patients’ fight or flight response, which is heightened in sufferers of PTSD.
The US Food and Drug Administration has hailed it a “breakthrough therapy”.
But UK vets risk missing out because of a funding shortfall.
Two-thirds of patients in a US trial were effectively cured of their symptoms, which include flashbacks, nightmares, rages and emotional numbness.
UK charity Supporting Wounded Veterans is aiming to raise £725,000 to secure a similar trial here this summer run by King’s College London.
Gen Carter, its patron, said existing treatments were limited.
He said the charity “may have found a therapy likely to make a critical difference to many people suffering terrible effects of trauma, using outstanding British scientists at one of our top universities.”
Gilly Norton, the charity’s boss, said: “It would be a disgrace if veterans elsewhere in the world were able to access this treatment, and British veterans were not.”
Dr James Rucker, a consultant psychiatrist at King’s, said: “MDMA-assisted therapy is a novel, cutting-edge treatment for PTSD.
“The evidence suggests that it works by quietening the fight or flight system in the brain, which we know is over-active in cases of PTSD.”
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