Participate in MDMA Studies

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can occur after a person experiences a significant trauma, like sexual or physical assault, war, threat to their life arising from a hate crime, natural disaster, or accident. It affects people of all races, ages, and backgrounds. People with PTSD may find it difficult to keep a job and maintain healthy relationships. Many people with PTSD have depression or suicidal thoughts. Some have difficulty managing their relationship to drugs and alcohol. PTSD can cause nightmares, flashbacks, difficulty sleeping, and bursts of anger. Symptoms can last a long time and significantly affect quality of life. 

Why are we studying MDMA-assisted therapy to treat PTSD?

Studies suggest that MDMA used in combination with therapy may help people who have PTSD. Though we are still discovering exactly why it may help people with PTSD, we know that MDMA may increase positive mood and changes the way we see and think about the world around us, making it easier to think about and recall upsetting experiences that happened to us. People say they feel caring and forgiving toward themselves and others during the MDMA experience. It is possible that these drug effects, when combined with therapy, may help people work through thoughts, memories, and emotions related to traumas and other past experiences.

How This Research Could Help with PTSD and What We Can Accomplish Together

We are currently recruiting a limited number of participants for a study of MDMA-assisted therapy to treat PTSD. VolunteersParticipants in this study will help us better understand better if MDMA-assisted therapy to treat PTSD. Participants enrolled in this study will help us better understand if MDMA-assisted therapy alleviates PTSD. Participants enrolled in this study will be provided all study activities (including over 30 hours of therapy) at no cost to them. We cannot guarantee that volunteers will benefit from participating in the study. You can read more about the study here and below.

Research: Current Focus

Ongoing and Planned Trials

Since 2018, MAPS Europe has focused on training study therapists in preparation for the planned European Phase 3 trial, MAPP3. The MDMA Therapy Training Program includes an online course, an experiential component, role play, and supervision of the trainee’s first MDMA-assisted therapy participant. With European therapist training complete, the focus is now on completing the Phase 2 open-label, lead-inPhase 2 study, MP-18. 
European sites and investigators have been identified and MAPS Europe has begun recruiting participants for MP-18. The study is planned at nine clinical research sites across six countries, including the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Czech Republic, Germany, Norway, and Portugal. The purpose of MP-18 is to gather European Phase 2 data and finalize the training of investigators. After the completion of MP-18, MAPS Europe plans to conduct a much larger Phase 3 clinical trial called MAPP3, which will be conducted at the same research sites as MP18. 

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Study Design and European Medicines Agency (EMA) Guidance

MAPS’ proposed sample size for the European pPhase 3 trial MAPP3 is 70 PTSD participants across nine study sites, with half of participants receiving manualized therapy with inactive placebo and half receiving manualized therapy with MDMA.

Based on scientific advice from the EMA, MAPS aims to ensure cross-cultural validity of the research by including geographically diverse sites. In addition, EMA requested the inclusion of migrants and refugees with PTSD for the European Phase 3 trial, which is currently expected to start in 2022. 

Recent Results of MDMA-Assisted Therapy Trials

The first Phase 3 trial of MDMA-assisted therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which took place in the United States, Canada and Israel, replicated and expanded on Phase 2 results and suggested that MDMA-assisted therapy will be an effective and cost-saving treatment for PTSD resulting from any cause. Nature Medicine, one of the most impactful medical journals, has published a peer-reviewed paper detailing the results of the study. In this first Phase 3 trial of any psychedelic-assisted therapy, 67% of participants who received three MDMA-assisted therapy sessions no longer qualified for a PTSD diagnosis and 88% experienced a clinically meaningful reduction in symptoms.

Phase 2 MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for PTSD Results

In the pooled data from the six Phase 3 trials, significant symptom reductions were seen in a large sample of participants with chronic, treatment resistant PTSD following MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. Over 2/3 of the subjects no longer qualified for a diagnosis of PTSD at the 12-month follow-up after the last MDMA-assisted psychotherapy session. The effectiveness of the treatment was not dependent on the cause of PTSD, demonstrating the generalizability of this treatment approach.


MAPS Europe and MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC) are wholly-owned subsidiaries of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). Their primary work involves completing Phase 3 clinical trials required to develop MDMA-assisted therapy into an approved treatment for PTSD. MAPS Europe sponsors clinical trials of MDMA-assisted therapy in Europe.


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