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George A. Ricaurte

George A. Ricaurte is a controversial neurology researcher who works at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in the Department of Neurology. He received his MD from Northwestern University Medical School and his Ph.D. (Pharmacology) from the University of Chicago.

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His research focuses on Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders. His work centers on amphetamine-type stimulants and their potential to damage brain monoamine-containing neurons. Dr Ricaurte is best known for a body of work examining the mechanisms by which methamphetamine damages dopamine neurons (which degenerate in Parkinson’s disease) and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) damages serotonin neurons. The long-term goal of this neurotoxicology research is to help find ways to prevent – or retard – the progression of Parkinson’s disease and related neurodegenerative disorders. His work also has implications for the drug abuse field and substance abuse neuropsychiatric disorders.

He is best known in the drug advocacy community for his retracted article on the neurotoxicity of ecstasy, originally published in Science. This article was retracted after it was found that the testing materials were switched from MDMA to methamphetamine. It is unknown whether the materials were switched intentionally, whether it was an accident of Ricaurte, or whether the supplier from Research Triangle Park (which was overseen by the DEA) either switched the test materials accidentally or intentionally. All sides deny responsibility and the results of an investigation are still pending. Rick Doblin, director and founder of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, suggested after the incident that all Ricaurte's work was politically motivated and should be reevaluated. [1]


  • Johns Hopkins profile
  • Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies - archive of critical articles about Ricaurte's retracted research.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "George_A._Ricaurte". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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