Photo: Vaccine Against Alcoholism Developed in Chile
If tests on humans are successful, one jab a month would keep patients away from the toxic sauce known as alcohol.
Chilean scientists derived the vaccine from a genetic mutation present in 20% of the Asian population; those with the mutation in their genes reacted so violently to alcohol, that it inhibits addiction, according to Juan Asenjo head of the project. The Chilean scientists in essence tried to replicate that gene in a vaccine.
The vaccine is expected to augment dizziness, nausea and other adverse effects of alcohol, “With the vaccine, the desire to drink is going to be minimal, due to the sharpness of the effects” said the physician.
The concept has already been successfully tested on rats, and proved to be more effective than patches and pills used currently to control urges in alcoholic patients because it does not depend on the patient’s will to take the medication, and has far less side effects.
The team expects to be testing the vaccine on humans in early 2012.
Alcohol is estimated to cause 200 deaths a day in the U.S. For every 10 drinkers, one becomes an alcoholic or problem drinker, and out of 10 alcoholics, one became addicted the first time they got drunk.