Treatment of Cocaine Addiction with Viruses
Cocaine is an extremely addictive drug that acts on the brain causing it to release excessive levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine to produce a feeling of euphoria or extreme pleasure. A number of medications acting as agonists, antagonists, or antidepressants have been evaluated in both animal models and humans, with only limited success. However, there is a new approach to treat cocaine dependence with viruses. There are different ways to utilize viruses such as using Filamentous bacteriophages that have anti-cocaine antibodies on their surfaces, Adenovirus-based vaccine, and by viral gene transfer of butyrylcholinesterase.
There are many pharmacological approaches and behavioral interventions that can limit the addiction of cocaine, but with a small success. However, there are new methods that have been studied over the past few years such as immunopharmacotherapy that target cocaine molecules which is assisted by adenoviruses, phage therapy, and the use of viral gene transfer of cocaine degrading enzymes