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Drugs

Cocaine Vaccine Could Block High, Save Hollywood

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Mon, May 13, 2013 at 9:08 AM

click to enlarge SCARFACE
  • Scarface
Good news for Lindsay Lohan, Charlie Sheen, and celebrity clubbers everywhere. Maybe.

Researchers are getting closer to inventing an anti-cocaine vaccine that works on humans. The academics announced over the weekend that the concoction works on primates:

The Weill Cornell Medical College research published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology demonstrates that the vaccine can block the dopamine-induced high triggered by cocaine.

Of course, not doing coke, nose plugs and empty bank accounts have also been known to have the same effect.

The question is why someone who likes cocaine and its high would take the vaccine. The answer, probably, is getting in trouble for it and being ordered by a judge to use the vaccine.

Anyway, Dr. Ronald G. Crystal, chairman of the Department of Genetic Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College put it this way:

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

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.

Bummer, said some of you. But ultimately a good thing for human kind?

Researchers say the vaccine creates an immune response in animals that makes them "regard cocaine as the enemy."

While it has worked on mice and primates, the next step is to try it on people. Volunteers?

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

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