In the US, they created a cure for cocaine addiction without serious side effects. A study by scientists at Duke University is published in the journal Cell.
Cocaine causes a strong psychological dependence, which in this case has practically no physical manifestations, but often leads to exhaustion of the body and death of a person.
Scientists have been trying for many years to create a medicine that would get rid of cocaine addiction, but so far not a single drug has received the approval of supervisory authorities – including due to severe side effects.
In a new work, researchers found a way to regulate the production of dopamine, a hormone of pleasure, the production of which stimulates cocaine. Excessive dopamine builds up in nerve cells, because the drug blocks the functioning of cellular mechanisms that regulate hormone production.
Researchers have discovered the SBI-553 molecule, which causes neurons to produce beta-arrestin-2 protein, whose molecules lower the sensitivity of neurons to dopamine and other signaling molecules. The molecule works in such a way that it does not affect the operation of NTSR1 receptors, the blocking of which leads to memory loss and life-threatening problems with pressure and thermoregulation.
The researchers tested the work of a new tool on mice with cocaine addiction. As part of the experiment, the mice pressed a lever that introduced another portion of cocaine into their body. After taking the medicine, the number of clicks on the lever in rodents was reduced by three times.
At the same time, rodents did not suffer from high blood pressure, memory loss and other characteristic side effects associated with the action of other drugs that affect NTSR1. In the near future, researchers expect to get permission for preclinical, and then clinical trials of the drug.