Scripps researchers develop methamphetamine vaccine
A team of scientists at the Scripps Research Institute saw promising results in a study of a vaccine against methamphetamine. With more than 430,000 users nationwide, methamphetamine has become one of the most common recreational drugs in the U.S.
The early-stage study, released in the journal Biological Psychiatry, showed that the vaccine protected against meth intoxication in laboratory animals. The compound MH6 blocked two effects of meth in rats given the drug: high energy levels and increased body temperature. This may indicate that the vaccine was preventing methamphetamine from reaching the nervous system.
A healthy antibody response in rats given MH6 also led scientists to believe the body was fighting the drug.
"This is an early-stage study, but its results are comparable to those for other drug vaccines that have gone to clinical trials," Michael Taffe, a Scripps researcher with the institute's Committee on the Neurobiology of Addictive Disorders, told California Watch. "It looks promising, but we're still early on in the process."
Unfortunately, effects of the vaccine last only weeks, not years. But research is still in its infancy.
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