Scientists Create Anti-Cocaine Vaccine

Gahars

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Drug addiction remains a serious problem around the world, as all too many fall victim to crippling dependencies on dangerous, deadly substances.

Much effort has been made to stem the tide, but somehow, crackdowns, strict sentencing, and Nancy Reagan telling kids to just say no haven't done the trick. Weird, right?

All hope is not lost, however; a group of scientists have decided that there's only one way to beat drugs: more drugs.

I like the way they think.

An anti-cocaine vaccine has been used successfully on non-human primates, bringing it one step closer to approval for use in human addiction therapy.

The vaccine (dAd5GNE) combines elements of the common cold virus with the particle GNE, which mimics cocaine. The vaccine works by preventing the dopamine high associated with taking cocaine.

"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."
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It gobbles up cocaine like gaming's favorite puck-shaped hero and it contains elements of the common cold? Huh. Who knew all it took to beat cocaine was a little Pac-Man Fever?

While the vaccine was shown to be extremely effective, it's only been tested in animals so far. (Also, there is a lab somewhere getting animals high on cocaine. That's a little sad and kind of amazing at the same time.) It will take a lot more testing before this gets anywhere close to hitting the market. Still, it's a hopeful, positive step forward.

I was going to end this with some sort of a Chris Farley joke, but then I remembered he's dead and never coming back and I made myself sad.

That's all I have to say about that.
 

FAST6191

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"common cold virus with the particle GNE......cocaine will have no effect."

Oooh grey hat biology might get fun in the coming years. Wonder if it is possible to do one for nicotine as I think that would be hilarious.
 
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TheCasketMan

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This vaccine could be dangerous, because if it is anti cocaine, then it is anti dopamine, and the human brain uses dopamine as one of the main neurotransmitters. That is like creating an anti sugar vaccine.
 

FAST6191

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This vaccine could be dangerous, because if it is anti cocaine, then it is anti dopamine, and the human brain uses dopamine as one of the main neurotransmitters. That is like creating an anti sugar vaccine.

"The vaccine works by preventing the dopamine high associated with taking cocaine."
I am a bit hazy on my how drugs work (all I have on lock right now seems to the serotonin bothering ones) but it need not limit production, bind with dopamine to the point of stopping it from working as it does or do anything to obstruct "normal" function.

Also an anti sugar vaccine that worked in that way could be quite useful to prevent people from becoming fat bastards.

This will go horribly wrong.
They shouldn't be messing with things like this.

Do elaborate, not attempting to advance science is not typically held as a good ideal.
 

Nah3DS

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let's say you are a cocaine addict, and you "cure" yourself with this vaccine... but then you feel the need of getting high again...
you can always resort to other types of drugs, there are thousands of them

doing drugs = being stupid
and sadly.... there is no cure for that :wink:
 

Densetsu

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I'm just wondering how patient compliance would be with this treatment. People with a physical dependence on any substance, take that substance because it makes them feel "good" one way or another. If this vaccine is degrading cocaine and preventing the cocaine from doing its thing (which is preventing the reuptake of dopamine in the reward centers of the brain), it would essentially have the same effect as not taking the cocaine at all. That would still leave the patient with withdrawal symptoms. If they realize that the vaccine is causing the cocaine to be less effective (or ineffective), they could just stop taking the treatment altogether. It seems like this treatment would still require a strong desire and willpower to quit on the part of the patient.

*snip*

*EDIT*
Ok so the body actually develops antibodies to cocaine...now that's interesting. So if the body mounts an immune defense against any cocaine that enters the body, then the patient can't get high, no matter how hard they try. That would still subject them to the torture of withdrawal symptoms, which can last for years. Until those symptoms subside, the patient is in for a bumpy ride to recovery.

If the study goes far enough and is approved by the FDA, they should consider making this a preventive treatment in teenagers for anyone who wants it. Maybe they can show teenagers The Basketball Diaries in Health class, then encourage them to consider getting vaccinated immediately afterward.
 

Nathan Drake

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This vaccine could be dangerous, because if it is anti cocaine, then it is anti dopamine, and the human brain uses dopamine as one of the main neurotransmitters. That is like creating an anti sugar vaccine.
The thing is, this specifically stops the brain from reacting to the chemical composition of cocaine that causes such an intense dopamine rush. If you have something out there that replicates the overwhelming, sensory dulling effects of cocaine that isn't a drug, odds are you should be avoiding it anyways. Sure, more testing needs to be done, but I don't think they would be announcing these results if such a huge drawback had been observed.
 

Densetsu

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This vaccine could be dangerous, because if it is anti cocaine, then it is anti dopamine, and the human brain uses dopamine as one of the main neurotransmitters. That is like creating an anti sugar vaccine.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that you find in the brain normally, even in the absence of cocaine. But in order for dopamine to function "normally" in the brain, it has to be able to "turn on" and "turn off" again. What cocaine does, is it prevents dopamine from "turning off."

So no, "anti-cocaine" does not mean "anti-dopamine."
 

nando

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I don't understand how this helps addicts. An addict that has taken the vaccine will still want to use cocaine, it just won't have any effect on them that doesn't restore their brain to pre cocaine use and they'll probably just experiment with other drugs to try and get a high.
 

Ericthegreat

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This vaccine could be dangerous, because if it is anti cocaine, then it is anti dopamine, and the human brain uses dopamine as one of the main neurotransmitters. That is like creating an anti sugar vaccine.
I suppose you're right, but would be hard to gauge if there is long term depression in non humans. But supposedly it gets to the cocaine before it gets to the brain.
 

ggyo

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How incredible is it that Nancy Reagan was doing the "Just say no to drugs." as Ronald Reagan was having the CIA operate with Rick Ross (not the rapper) and Nicaraguan drug cartels to flood ghettos with narcotics and fire arms?

That's like if I were a crack dealer who also operated a rehabilitation center. I can profit in your degradation and recovery.
 

FAST6191

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let's say you are a cocaine addict, and you "cure" yourself with this vaccine... but then you feel the need of getting high again...
you can always resort to other types of drugs, there are thousands of them

doing drugs = being stupid
and sadly.... there is no cure for that :wink:

Caffeine definitely ranks as a potent drug, are you stupid for using it? If no then we now have a sliding scale of what is OK to use and what is not and it gets messy.

As for withdrawal and other such I am not sure this is so much magic elixir as much as something that might take the edge off something somewhere and be used as part of a cocktail. Also vaccine could indeed be being used in the classical sense as well.
 

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So if the body mounts an immune defense against any cocaine that enters the body, then the patient can't get high, no matter how hard they try. That would still subject them to the torture of withdrawal symptoms, which can last for years. Until those symptoms subside, the patient is in for a bumpy ride to recovery.
But it reduces the chances of relapse. If the drug loses the ability to alleviate the withdrawal crisis, there will be no incentive to revert to using it. On the other hand, they might just replace cocaine with alcohol.

Also vaccine could indeed be being used in the classical sense as well.
I can imagine rich parents inoculating their kids against cocaine (I can't see the shots getting cheap enough to be used as a universal preventative measure in the foreseeable future).
 
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