A new huge US study of the effects of MDMA ‘specifically designed to minimize the methodological flaws in earlier studies . . . found no ominous, concerning risks to cognitive performance’, US scientists announced this week. Study chief Doctor John Halpern MD said ‘ecstasy users in the new study showed no signs of cognitive impairment attributable to drug use’ adding ‘ecstasy use did not decrease mental ability.’ The drug expert carried out the research for America’s National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and ‘eliminated several sources of potential error in previous studies’ they explained in a report published in medical journal Addiction. “As well as the actual pill-poppers, the non-using control group were also apparently "members of the 'rave' subculture,’ the statement said, “And thus repeatedly exposed to sleep and fluid deprivation from all-night dancing - factors that themselves can produce long-lasting cognitive effects". Instead Doctor Halpern blamed the dangers associated with ecstasy on its illegality and warned that using it currently remains potentially risky. “Illegally-made pills can contain harmful contaminants,” the Dr pointed out, “There are no warning labels, there is no medical supervision, and in rare cases people are physically harmed and even die from overdosing. It is important for drug-abuse information to be accurate.” The most notorious inaccurate ecstasy research was published by US ‘scientist’ George Ricaurte in 2002, when he announced that ecstasy users risked developing Parkinson’s Disease from one night of E-fueled raving, as well as a one in five change of death. His findings were immediately leapt on by ‘Just say no’ zero tolerance campaigners who were far less vocal when six months later he was forced to admit he’d tested the wrong drug- ultra-strong methamphetamine- by mistake. "I'm surprised that senior researchers could make an error like that," British drug expert Dr John Henry told New Scientist following Ricaurte’s retraction. "They should have known from the general background of their work that this was extremely unusual,” the Doctor noted.