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Brazilian research, which is still in its initial stage, succeeds in developing a vaccine for drug addicts

Even with potential chastity crises, the trend is for coercion to be stopped with a vaccine. (photo: clone)

An animal study conducted by the Federal University of Minas Gerais shows promising results for the development of a vaccine of importance for the planet. The researchers’ goal is to protect humans from drug addiction.

The problem is in squares and corners. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, crack and cocaine are consumed by more than 20 million people worldwide. The possibility of assistance has been developed since 2015 by the Federal University of Minas Gerais: a vaccine for drug addicts. The researchers have already completed the first phase of animal research, which is required before testing can be carried out in humans.

“We have already completed preclinical phases regarding safety and efficacy in rodents and non-rodent animals, which are non-human primates. We have already determined the efficacy of this vaccine in these animals as well as the safety of this vaccine,” says Rice-Lima, researcher at UFMG.

The vaccine was developed from modified particles of the same drug. In the animals, the vaccine prompted the immune system to produce antibodies that bound to the drug already in the animals’ bloodstream. This binding increased the size of the drug molecules, preventing them from passing through the blood-brain barrier – a structure that regulates the transport of substances between the blood and the central nervous system. Without access to the brain, the animal did not feel the effects of the drug. Doctors hope that, in this way, in testing with humans, the craving for crack and cocaine will be significantly reduced.

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According to researcher Frederico García, even with potential withdrawal crises, the tendency is for the compulsion to stop, which may give the patient more time and physical conditions to continue addiction treatment.

It would be a drug that would delay that reward system reaction, which is what leads to addiction. Therefore, we allow the patient to have some time between abstinence and resuming his life, making sure that relapses, when they occur, do not again engage this system and force him to take the drug again, ”explains Frederico García.

For testing in humans, researchers need the go-ahead from Anvisa. The order has not been shipped yet. But to move forward, you must get money to move forward. Researchers believe that if resources emerge, the work can be completed within two or three years. The research indicates that, in addition to helping to treat those who are dependent on chemicals, the vaccine can also protect the children of pregnant women who use the drug.

Tests conducted so far have shown that the antibodies can be transferred to fetuses. According to pediatric neurologist Ljubiana Arantes de Araujo, if research progresses, a vaccine could be a hope for children.

“If Brazil takes the lead in developing a vaccine that can even protect children, we will prevent many other health problems for this child, many other health problems related to general health and intelligence, and general health in the long term,” says the neurologist.