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Analysis For A Drug Addict

Specialists of the Institute of Physiologically Active Substances, Russian Academy of Sciences, and of the Moscow Narcological Clinical Hospital #17 have developed a technique called “Dianarc” that allows to discover drug addicts at the very early stage, when they take narcotics occasionally.

The technique is based on identification of the antibody level in saliva and blood. For invention of this technique, Professor Marina Myagkova was recognized the best inventor woman by the World Intellectual Property Organization at the International exhibition of inventions in Geneva in April this year and was awarded the golden medal of the World Intellectual Property Organization and a prize.

Drug addiction begins with occasional drug taking – once in 2 to 3 weeks or once in 1 to 2 months. But previously existing analysis techniques allowed to discover drug metabolites only within one or two days after the intake, therefore, they are practically unable to prove that an individual took drug a week ago. Clinical changes in the organism are usually not seen either at this stage, but when they become apparent, the disease has already been developed. That is why Russian specialists suggested to use immune-enzyme analysis methods (based on detection of narcotics specific antibodies) for early detection of drug addiction.

First, the researchers developed similar techniques for chronical drug addicts. They determined that with the individuals who are taking opiates, amphetamines or the ephedrine or hemp preparations (cannabinoids) on a regular basis, these narcotics antibodies level increases. Antibodies belong to the immunoglobulin proteins class. The researchers educed specific narcotics antibodies from the patients’ blood serum, determined their specificity and ability to binding and successfully applied immunological methods to medical practice for diagnostics of drug addiction latent forms.

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To develop a more sensitive method, the specialists used the blood serum and saliva of practically healthy people and those of drug addicts who had voluntarily came to the clinic. The majority of drug addicts used to take opiates, amphetamines and (or) cannabinoids. The time of their last drug taking made from two hours to three months.

It has turned out that in case of narcotics dependence development, the M and A immunoglobulin synthesis intensifies in the patient’s immune system. The A immunoglobulins are of special interest to physicians as antibodies based on them circulate in the blood for a long time; they enable to determine if an individual took drugs half a year ago and to identify what particular ones were taken. The blood serum analysis is more sensitive and informative than the saliva analysis.

The “Dianarc technique enables to detect 2 to 4 months later if an individual did take drugs, the technique’s reliability exceeding 95 percent. At the Geneva exhibition, the Russian researcher’s invention received the international recognition. The authors assume that the ‘Dianarc’ will be useful for clinical and forensic medical practice, as well as for staff selection to enforcement and guard entities, for issue of driver’s licenses and weapon permissions.

Nadezda Markina | alfa
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