The addiction of the United States has successfully completed clinical trials of a vaccine that trains the immune system of rodents to recognize heroin molecules and their derivatives, and then to neutralize them. At the moment American scientists plan to begin trials of a similar drug on human volunteers, reported in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
According to one of the specialists of the Research Institute of SCRIPPS in La JOLLA Joel Slosburg, they have already tested the vaccine on rats that are exposed to heroin addiction. A similar situation occurs with people. Thanks to this vaccine, scientists were able to withdraw the rats from the continuous cycle of drug use, and experts hope that similar results can be achieved also with people, because in addition to the vaccines to the people will be used and other methods of treatment.
The prototype vaccine was created and presented to the world public in July 2011. It consists of a set of antigens, similar in structure to heroin and the products of its decay. These kind of models of molecules, in contrast to smaller molecules of the present heroin, more visible to the immune system, and teach her to recognize and neutralize them.
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After scientists have achieved some success, they began clinical trials on rodents. The vaccine was tested on rats, which saw a steady heroin dependence. The new drug was tested as follows: the vaccine was administered in the blood of rodents, and after that they were completely deprived of the drug for one month. Then, scientists have restored the tolerance of rats to drugs and observed their behavior.