Last week the US Food and Drug Administration announced 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), commonly known as ecstasy, as a 'breakthrough therapy' in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The announcement, made by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), means that 'Phase 3' trails to determine the effectiveness of the drug, involving 200 to 300 participants, could start as early as 2018, providing a faster path to pharmaceutical approval. The trials will be held in the U.S., Canada, and Israel, and possibly expanded to include Europe. Since 1986, MAPS has been conducting trials to prove the drug's therapeutic effectiveness, and in Phase 2 trails 107 people who had PTSD for an average of 17.8 years were treated with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. The study found that after two months 61 percent of participants no longer suffered from PTSD, and after a year this number increased to 68 percent. To find out more check out All clear for the decisive trial of ecstasy in PTSD patients.