Can Gene Therapy End Meth Addiction?
Meth addition is a huge problem in the US, with hundreds of thousands of people suffering.
A group of scientists from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences has developed a method of treating addition using gene therapy, writes Futurism.
During the particular procedure, researchers insert a gene that codes an “anti-meth” antibody into a specially created virus. The virus is then injected into a patient, which forces their body to create antibodies that counteract the drug.
Once injected, methamphetamine molecules in the bloodstream are intercepted by the antibody before they can reach the brain and trigger the feelings related to the usage of the drug. In other words, users wouldn’t feel the same high after being administered with the treatment.
The development isn’t intended to be a tool that completely eradicated addiction, however instead it aids an aid for those wanting to make serious changes to their lifestyle. The idea is that if the drug isn’t able to provide the pleasurable effect, then there will no desire to take it.
In tests performed on mice, the therapy lasted for up to eight months. There is potential that this tool could be developed into a treatment that could work alongside behaviour therapy.
More research is still required, as previously similar attempts that saw benefits in animal testing didn’t produce the same results in humans.