A Cocaine Vaccine to Treat Addiction

There is more good news for those suffering from a drug addiction. There is a new anti-cocaine vaccine that will prevent the drug from reaching the brain.

This will in turn prevent the brain from generating the dopamine that produces the high. Dr. Ronald G. Crystal is the chairman of the Department of Genetic Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, and he is the study’s lead investigator. Dr. Crystal stated:

“The vaccine eats up the cocaine in the blood like a little Pac-Man before it can reach the brain.”

Read up on our current cocaine abuse patterns and behaviors here

Cocaine Vaccine Currently Being Tested

The cocaine vaccine has already been tested on mice and is currently in primate testing. So far, the testing results for the vaccine are a success. With the accomplishment of the primate trials being so positive, it brings the human trial testing closer. In fact, it is estimated that human trials can begin in about a year.

The results tend to signify that the anti-cocaine vaccine will render the intense high of cocaine ineffective. This is because the vaccine will block the recycling of dopamine which produces the feelings of pleasure from the neurotransmitters in the brain.

How the Common Cold Is Helping

Dr. Crystal and his colleagues merge fragments of the common cold virus with a particle that imitates the construction of cocaine. The body sees the cocaine as a cold virus, and the body’s immune system sends its antibodies to destroy the cocaine.

Cocaine is now viewed by the addict’s immune system as an enemy and attacks the cocaine as soon as it enters the body.

Future Hope for Addiction Treatment

As of now, the researchers do not know how long the vaccine will remain active. Tests in mice showed the affects of the vaccine lasting for 13 weeks, but the effects in primate testing lasted as long as seven weeks.

Based on this information, it appears that cocaine vaccination will require a series of treatments to help the person trying to stop abusing cocaine.

In any event, this may be a true blessing to those who really want to stop their cocaine addiction. Previous cocaine treatment methods have never been able to use anything of this magnitude before, the future is promising.


Sources:

  1. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/260423.php
  2. http://weill.cornell.edu/news/releases/wcmc/wcmc_2013/05_10_13.shtml
  3. http://www.nature.com/npp/journal/vaop/naam/pdf/npp2013114a.pdf