Trying to quit smoking? It’s hard – studies show 70 to 80% of people who try to quit in six months.
This is because nicotine is so addictive, says Dr. Ronald G. Crystal, chairman and professor of genetic medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York. Crystal team announced they had successfully tested a new vaccine that could treat nicotine addiction.
Crystal said Health Pop, many stop-smoking attempts to attack the source of smoking cigarettes, but the fact that his team wanted to do was find a way to block the sensation of nicotine has on the brain, which makes smoking so addictive.
“Smoking is a terrible problem in society,” Crystal said Health Pop. “It’s extremely costly to our society, not only pain and suffering, but the amount of spending on health. In this sense, it is very important for us to develop strategies that will actually be effective.”
The vaccine of its commands is described in the June 27 issue of Science Translational Medicine. How does it work?
As vaccines against diseases that create antibodies to fight infection, the vaccine creates antibodies against nicotine. However, previous attempts at similar vaccines failed because within a few weeks, antibodies disappear, which is not exactly helping people stay smoke-free.
Crystal team developed a vaccine that contains a virus, consisting of a genetic sequence; they are designed with nicotine antibodies, and injected it into mouse liver. The introduction of genetically modifies liver in large amounts of nicotine antibodies, along with other cells, he usually does, thus providing a nicotine antibody “factories” in the body. This suggests that the effect will not diminish over time as the other antibodies. The antibodies then work on the orientation of the cells of nicotine for a few seconds of exposure and not letting them get to the receptors in the brain that provide the “Chill Out” feeling as it is called a crystal.
“Antibodies are little Pac-men, who like nicotine and just eat it,” Crystal said.
When the mice were given nicotine, they experience a drop in blood pressure and heart activity, and there are “relaxed”, who suggests that nicotine reached the brain. But the mice tested new vaccine appeared only as active as they were before, as measured by infrared rays in the cells.
“This is how to give them water – nothing happens,” Crystal said. But he added that there is a caveat to his office: “Mice are not little people.”
Further to the success of the vaccine, a number of his team plans to test it on rats, the primates and eventually humans – probably within “a few years,” he said.
In the press release from Cornell, Crystal said the vaccine is safe and one day could be used preventively in people who have never smoked.
Just as the parents decided to give their children a vaccine against HPV, they may decide to use the nicotine vaccine. But this is only theoretical option at this point, “Dr. Crystal said.” Of course, we have the benefit of weight compared with the risk, and take years of research to establish such a threshold. ”