1. ITV Report

Research chemist who 'discovered' Ecstasy dies aged 88

Alexander Shuglin as a younger man. Photo: Sasha Shulgin

A world-renowned chemist famous for rediscovering a decades old recipe for the psychedelic drug ecstasy has died aged 88.

Alexander Shulgin died at his home in a remote part of northern California on Monday.

Known to some as the 'Godfather of Ecstasy', Shuglin created over 200 chemical compounds for use in psychotherapy - often testing the extremely psychoactive substances on himself and his wife.

Ecstasy pills, which contain MDMA as their main chemical, are pictured in this undated handout photo. Credit: Reuters

He his most widely known, however, for dusting off a decades-old chemical recipe for 3,4-Methylenedioxyamphetamine, or MDMA - the 'active ingredient' in the drug ecstasy.

MDMA been forgotten for almost 65 years since its initial discovery in 1912 and the drug had never been tested on humans until Shuglin began clinical trials on himself.

Alexander Shulgin (R), pharmacologist and chemist known for his creation of new psychoactive chemicals, and his wife Ann. Credit: Reuters

His research into the drug and its properties has led some scientists to believe that it could be introduced as a possible treatment for some mental health conditions and terminal cancer patients.