Vaccine to quit smoking
June 28, 2012
Scientists believe that: “A vaccine of genes that produce antibodies against nicotine could help millions of smokers to quit.”
Only a puncture could provide lifelong protection against cravings and eventually could be used to vaccinate children.
The “genetic vaccine” so far has been tested only in mice, but research involving people could begin in just two years.
The vaccine contains genes ‘programmed’ to produce antibodies that neutralize the nicotine before it reaches the brain, which normally would result in pleasurable sensations that lead to addiction.
The theory is that ‘if smokers do not receive the benefit as that of cigarettes, it will be easier to stop smoking’.
The vaccine was developed at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York which continuously produce antibodies, which ensures that there is always some blood to fight nicotine.
According to the journal of Science Translational Medicine, “When vaccinated mice with nicotine antibodies they reduced their way to the brain by 85 percent, without any effect on behavior, blood pressure or heart rate.”
Lead researcher Ronald Crystal said: “This new vaccine can provide a much needed solution.”
“The investigation is still at an early stage and the need for large-scale studies means that the vaccine will take at least five years to reach the market.”
Darren Griffin, Professor of Genetics at the University of Kent, said that “the study had” great potential “but warned that what works in mice does not always work in humans.”
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