A Vaccine for cocaine addiction that eats up drug ‘like a little Pac-Man’
An anti-cocaine vaccine (dAd5GNE) has been found to successfully work on non-human primates, the vaccine itself works by preventing the dopamine high which is associated with taking cocaine. It combines elements of GNE which is part of the cold virus.
“The vaccine eats up the cocaine in the blood like a little Pac-Man before it can reach the brain,” said Ronald G Crystal, lead author of the study and chairman of the Department of Genetic Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College.”We believe this strategy is a win-win for those individuals, among the estimated 1.4 million cocaine users in the United States, who are committed to breaking their addiction to the drug. Even if a person who receives the anti-cocaine vaccine falls off the wagon, cocaine will have no effect.”
How does the Cocaine Vaccine Work?
The vaccine blocks the cocaine and encourages the body to treat it as an intruder, it then mounts an immune response against the cocaine.
The results from the study showed that non-human primates who took the vaccine showed a decline in the levels of cocaine binding to the dopamine transmitter. Less than 20 percent, in fact, which the study notes is “significantly below the 47 per cent threshold required to evoke the subjective ‘high’ reported in humans”.
The results that were found look extremely promising but, the vaccine is, of course, being tested to help humans and not primates! Therefore further studies are required to make sure that it is actually going to work. A key question that needs to be looked at is how effective the vaccine will be and how often it will need to be taken- this cannot be answered in non-human testing.
“An anti-cocaine vaccination will require booster shots in humans, but we don’t know yet how often these booster shots will be needed,” said Crystal. “I believe that for those people who desperately want to break their addiction, a series of vaccinations will help.”
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Read the original article on the cocaine vaccine on the Daily Mail website.