Vaccine To Block Heroin from Crossing into the Brain
You know the cost heroin addiction has had on our local community and our nation. In terms of human carnage and the profound financial burden, it's beyond words. What would you say if a vaccine was created that would block heroin from crossing into the brain?
Researchers at the U.S. Military HIV Research Program at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research announced some successes with an experimental vaccine that restricts heroin's effects on the brain.
The drug works by inducing the immune system to create antibodies which will bind with heroin, stopping it from crossing the blood-brain barrier.
The experimental results have shown some success with mice and rats, according to a study in the Journal of Medical Chemistry.
They are still in the early phase, but this study suggests that vaccination can be used with standard therapies to prevent the withdrawal and craving symptoms associated with opioid withdrawal. This isn't the first time that a vaccine for opioids has been explored. In June, Newsweek highlighted a similar vaccine from the Scripps Research Institute, where scientists found success after eight years of research on rats and rhesus monkeys.