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article imageStudy: Enzyme shows promising results for drug overdoses

By Walter McDaniel     Jun 25, 2014 in Science
Lexington - The natural enzyme 'cocaine esterase' has shown a promising tendency to break down cocaine quickly. While not a way to treat all addiction and overdoses it could be a useful addition to standard treatments.
The study found that cocaine esterase can quickly break down the bonds in the drug so that the human body can quickly metabolize it out. The reason we say promising is that the enzyme is also metabolized out of the body itself before it can help the patient.
This study in ACS Publications has published new findings from a team that extended the lifespan of the enzyme. This had the effect of expanding the lifespans of mice injected with fatal amounts of cocaine to around 94 hours. If this has a similar protective effect in humans it could be a promising addition to our current treatment of cocaine users.
This discovery is making news in many scientific circles such as Chemical & Engineering News. The findings come from a variety of scientists from the University of Kentucky who regularly study the impact of new treatments on the human body.
Other treatments such as "Topamax" are also being tried as well. While many of them are also promising they also are in the testing phase and are not yet safe for wide-spread use. While not fully tested these treatments may lead to new life saving measures for those dealing with the trauma of drug addiction.
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