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Heroin Addiction Gene Identified and Blocked (moved from ATSNN)

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posted on Jun, 2 2005 @ 01:24 AM
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A research team has isolated the gene involved in heroin addiction and successfully blocked it using an adapted virus, effectively extinguishing the need for the drug. Tests conducted on heroin-addicted rats have showed unerring success, and the next step will be to develop the treatment for safe application on humans, predicted to be achieved within the next couple of years.
 



www.newscientist.com
Previous research has indicated that a section of the midbrain called the nucleus accumbens plays a central role in the “mental reward circuitry” of animals, such as rats and humans. This circuitry generates feelings of pleasure in response to drugs, as well as in response to other things, including food, sex and, in humans, work accomplishments.

Drugs like heroin, however, seem to over-stimulate the normal reward process to the point where users value their next fix more highly than food, water and other essentials. In 2004, a study revealed that coc aine causes a gene in the nucleus accumbens, called AGS3, to rapidly encode masses of proteins that are involved in the cravings and pleasure associated with the drug.

An AGS3 blocker was then created from a herpes virus. This temporarily binds to proteins within the reward circuit and blocks the cravings-pleasure cycle until the virus “washes out” of the body a few weeks later.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


I'm constantly amazed by the recent advances in the genetic sciences, and this one just adds to the pile. It's an exciting development in the fight against drug abuse.

Curing chemical addiction is one thing, but will we ever be able to cure the psychological causes? We all have our addictions; it's human nature, and there will always be some new drug around, but hopefully this development will help to battle the big "H".

Now if they could just develop the same for nicotine then I'd be set.




posted on Jun, 2 2005 @ 02:10 AM
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Now if they could just develop the same for nicotine then I'd be set.


Right here

www.sciencedaily.com...

However I am also worried that people could be forced into programs like this as a sort of way to force people to conform to societies definition of Normality. Just where do we draw the line? I worry about this technology more then any other technology developing to date. Heroin and Crack vaccines should and will be forced upon drug offenders, however will they just turn to more advanced drugs that have yet to be developed to get their "fix"?



posted on Jun, 2 2005 @ 02:37 AM
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I'm not so concerned with heroin addicts, even though such therapy would be directed at this pathetic population. I am more concerned with those who suffer from chronic pain and whose MDs have been intimidated by the DEA to the point that they are reluctant to prescribe adequately efficacious analgesics for their patients.

If this therapy could be used for such patients and the therapeutic effect of narcotics could be maintained then the reluctance of MDs to prescribe narcotic pain relievers might be reduced and the DEA could go about harassing those who traffic, deal, and take drugs illegally.

[edit on 05/6/2 by GradyPhilpott]



posted on Jun, 2 2005 @ 02:51 AM
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I'm not so concerned with heroin addicts, even though such therapy would be directed at this pathetic population


I hope by "pathetic" you intend the classic definition of the word, as in, "deserving of one's sympathy".




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