A new ally in the battle against cocaine addiction

Jan 02, 2010

A recent study shows that a bacterial protein may help cocaine addicts break the habit.

Cocaine esterase (CocE) is a naturally-occurring that breaks down cocaine, thereby reducing its addictive properties. The efficacy of CocE in animals and its suitability for treatment of addiction has been limited by its short half-life in the body.

A recent study, published in the Journal of and Experimental Therapeutics and reviewed by Faculty of 1000 Medicine's Friedbert Weiss, demonstrates that a more stable version of CocE, double mutant or DM CocE, significantly decreased the desire for cocaine and prevented death from cocaine overdose.

In the study, rats were trained to self-administer cocaine by pressing a button in their cage, mimicking the need for regular doses of the drug during addiction. Rats treated with the double mutant form of CocE pressed the button to receive cocaine less often, suggesting that DM-CocE broke down the drug and dampened addiction.

DM-CocE decreased the rats' urge for cocaine but not for an addictive analogue, highlighting the degree of specificity for cocaine. Weiss notes that the DM-CocE enzyme also provides "long-lasting protection" against the of a potentially lethal dose.

Though the effects of CocE can be overcome by a sufficiently large dose of cocaine, the present findings suggest that CocE has great promise as a drug abuse treatment.

Weiss says, "These therapeutic approaches may therefore not be "fail-safe" for reducing cocaine intake by determined users" but "long-acting forms of CocE represent potentially valuable treatment approaches not only for the prevention of cocaine-induced toxicity but also for ongoing abuse in humans."

Explore further: First vital step in fertilization between sperm and egg discovered

More information: The full text of this article is available free for 90 days at f1000medicine.com/article/017fjm0nn9jlk80/id/1167997/evaluation/sections

Provided by Faculty of 1000: Biology and Medicine

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jimbo92107
not rated yet Jan 04, 2010
Now find a nicotine esterase (NicE).
DillingerEscp
not rated yet Jan 04, 2010
How about Ibogaine? It's been proven to be almost a knock out punch to all forms of addiction.

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