WASHINGTON (NEWSnet/AP) —  A panel of advisers to the Food and Drug Administration rejected the use of the mind-altering drug MDMA as a treatment for PTSD.

The panel voted 10-1 against the overall benefits of MDMA when used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder.

They cited flawed study data, questionable research conduct and significant drug risks, including the potential for heart problems, injury and abuse.

“It seems like there are so many problems with the data — each one alone might be OK, but when you pile them on top of each other … there’s just a lot of questions I would have about how effective the treatment is,” said Dr. Melissa Decker Barone, a psychologist with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The FDA is not required to follow the group’s advice and is expected to make its final decision by August, but the negative opinion could strengthen FDA’s rationale for rejecting the treatment.

MDMA is the first in a series of psychedelics — including LSD and psilocybin — that are expected to come before the FDA for review in the next few years as part of a resurgence of interest into the drugs’ medical potential, which advocates claim could transform the treatment of mental health disorders.

But FDA advisers spent most of Tuesday’s meeting leveling pointed questions and criticisms at the research submitted on MDMA, which is sometimes called ecstasy or molly.

Panelists pointed to flawed studies that could have skewed the results, missing follow-up data on patient outcomes and a lack of diversity among participants.

MDMA’s main effect is triggering feelings of intimacy, connection and euphoria. When used to enhance talk therapy, the drug appears to help patients process their trauma and let go of disturbing thoughts and memories.

But the panel struggled with the reliability of those results, given the difficulties of objectively testing psychedelic drugs.

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