Home » Our Reseach » MDMA-Assisted Therapy for Social Anxiety in Autistic Adults

Study Status – Complete

Based on the known effects of MDMA, as well as individual reports, this exploratory study focused on enhancing social skills and quality of life in autistic adults with social anxiety.

Study Goals:

  • Test whether MDMA-assisted therapy is safe and effective for autistic adults with social anxiety
  • Determine if additional studies in this area are warranted
  • Initiate a new program of research into a possible beneficial use of MDMA based on a survey of case reports

MDMA-Assisted Therapy in Austistic Adults, A Collective Case Study

Data were compiled from 100 surveys, 90 anecdotal reports, and interviews with 24 individuals on the autism spectrum who have taken MDMA, in non-medical settings.

From a list of commonly reported MDMA effects, patients reported improvements in: Confidence, Communications, Empathy, Retention.

A Placebo-controlled, Randomized, Blinded, Dose- Finding Phase 2 Pilot Safety Study of MDMA-assisted Therapy for Social Anxiety in Autistic Adults

Primary Endpoint – Mean change from baseline in Leibowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS) scores was significantly greater for the MDMA group compared to the placebo group.


“Initial safety and efficacy outcomes support expansion of research into larger samples to further investigate this novel treatment for social anxiety.”

Highlighted Presentations and Articles

Findings from a Collective Case Study of the MDMA/Ecstasy Experiences of Adults on the Autism Spectrum

Transcript from Psychedelic Science 2013 Conference by study co-investigator Alicia Danforth, Ph.D.

The rationale for using this approach was published in Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry.

MDMA-Assisted Therapy:
A New Treatment Model for Social Anxiety in Autistic Adults

by Alicia L. Danforth, Christopher M. Struble, Berra Yazar-Klosinski, Charles S. Grob

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