MDAI (5,6-Methylenedioxy-2-aminoindane) is an entactogen substance of the aminoindane chemical class that produces entactogenic effects when administered. Notably, this compound primarily produces the non-stimulating effects of prototypical entactogens like MDMA such as sedation, muscle relaxation, and tactile enhancement.
MDAI is seen to produce effects that make people feel closer and loving to others (empathogenic) but very little research on its effects has been conducted on humans.
MDAI is chemically derived from the drug MDA, which has been around since the 40s, and was popularly used in the 60s (See MDA section). 5,6-Methylenedioxy-2-aminoindane is a drug where very little research has been conducted on its potential adverse effects and addictive properties.
MDAI has been shown to inhibit the reuptake of serotonin and has a selective affinity for the serotonin receptor. Studies have shown that the brains of animals treated with 5,6-Methylenedioxy-2-aminoindane have greater extracellular concentrations of monoamine neural transmitters, most significantly serotonin.
For comparison, MDAI is similar in potency with releasing serotonin to MDA, but significantly less potent than MDMA.This is done by inhibiting the reuptake and reabsorption of the neurotransmitters after they have performed their function of transmitting a neural impulse, essentially allowing them to accumulate, be reused and cause entactogenic effects.
5,6-Methylenedioxy-2-aminoindane has been shown to strongly stimulate the release of the neurotransmitter serotonin in research models and can therefore be described as being a ‘selective serotonin releasing agent’ (SSRA). Serotonin (or 5-HT), is mainly found in the intestines and central nervous system where it is involved in the regulation of processes such as: intestinal movement, sleep, mood, appetite, memory and learning.
The extent to which MDAI stimulates serotonin release is comparable to that seen with MDA but less than is seen with 3, 4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine (MDMA).
MDAI has also been found to inhibit the reuptake (movement back into cells) of serotonin as well as (to a lesser degree) the neurotransmitters dopamine (involved in regulating reward-seeking behaviour) and norepinephrine (or noradrenaline –a primary stress hormone).