first_imgAnyone who’s had a few too many the night before knows the pain and discomfort of waking up with a hangover the following morning. Your head is pounding, and even the quietest of sounds rings inside your skull. You also feel sick, and light of any kind is not welcome. So while a hangover is something everyone wants to avoid, it may just be the answer to helping alcoholics kick the habit.A research team led by Dr. Juan Asenjo, director of the Cell Dynamics and Biotechnology department at the University of Chile, has developed a new vaccine for alcoholics that induces a hangover the moment any alcohol is introduced into their system.A hangover is caused by the compound acetaldehyde. This is produced by the liver when dealing with alcohol before it is broken down and metabolized by an enzyme. The vaccine stops the enzyme doing its job, with the result being the person very quickly feeling sick and uncomfortable, as if they have a hangover. Continuing to drink will just make the feeling worse or at least prolong it.Administering the vaccine can be done with a single injection, which is then active for between 6 to 12 months. It won’t be tested on human subjects until November of this year, and that’s pending a trial on mice in the coming months to determine the right dose of the vaccine. If successful, the vaccine could be brought to market by 2015.Alcohol withdrawal can be a difficult process to go through depending on how reliant the person is on alcohol. In fact, the effects of alcohol withdrawal may be much worse than having a bad hangover. That suggests this vaccine would be better used as an ongoing deterrent rather than a way of stopping alcoholics from drinking in the first place.More at The Santiago Times [Image credit: Silar]last_img

Alcoholism vaccine will give drinkers an instant hangover

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