Cocaine Vaccine – Curing Addiction in One Shot?
Drug addiction is a plague on society, watching someone succumb to an addiction is a horrible thing. Tearing apart families and causing untold amounts of physical and emotional pain. It must take a tremendous amount of emotional strength to fully recover from something like a true addiction. Luckily, I can’t imagine being in a situation like that, but what if someone I loved was? What would I do then?
Well, it seems that behind the scenes, researchers have been working not only on vaccines that may be effective against certain forms of cancer, but they have also been working on vaccines that might be able to cure addiction. One such vaccine, developed to combat cocaine addiction, has been developed by teams led by Ronald Crystal from Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, and could very well be the first of a new line of anti-addiction shots that use proteins of from our immune systems (or antibodies) that can attach to the dangerous molecules, and mark them for destruction by our white blood cells, blocking the action of the drug before it hits our brains.
These anti-cocaine antibodies stop the drug before it crosses into the brain and researches say that this is important because cocaine’s addictive properties and physiological effects are all created in the brain. If any of these approaches turn out to work in human trials, researchers may be able to develop vaccines against heroin, nicotine and many other addictions. Trials so far have shown success in primates with results lasting for up to four months and human trials for some of these vaccines may begin as early as next year.