18 March 2008

Ecstasy vaccination

American researchers have patented a technology for producing antibodies that selectively bind to amphetamine derivatives. According to scientists, the compounds they have created can become an effective means of preventing and treating drug addiction.

In recent years, amphetamine and its derivatives – methamphetamine and ecstasy (MDMA, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) – have become the number one problem for American narcologists. The abuse of these drugs leads to severe disorders of the central nervous system and cardiovascular diseases. There are currently no effective methods of treating amphetamine addiction.

Employees of the Center for the Study of Drug Addiction and Alcoholism at the University of Arkansas have created several colonies of hybrids producing monoclonal antibodies capable of selectively binding to amphetamine, methamphetamine and ecstasy molecules.

Experiments on drug-addicted mice and rats have shown that antibody injections make it possible to maintain the concentration of narcotic substances in the blood of rodents at a minimum level. In addition, animals receiving experimental treatment showed a decrease in drug use, despite having constant access to them.

According to scientists, the antibodies they created practically do not interact with the isomers of amphetamine, which are used in some publicly available medicines. This deprives drug addicts who have received an "anti-drug vaccination" of the opportunity to neutralize its effect with the help of available medications.

Source: Anti-ecstasy antibodies – New Scientist, 03/17/2008

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