Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Clues to cocaine's toxicity could lead to better tests for detection

Date:
November 13, 2013
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
A new study on cocaine, the notorious white powder illegally snorted, injected or smoked by nearly 2 million Americans, details how it may permanently damage proteins in the body. That information, gleaned from laboratory tests, could be used to potentially detect the drug in biofluids for weeks or months -- instead of days -- after use, say scientists. The findings could also help explain cocaine's long-term health effects.

A new study on cocaine, the notorious white powder illegally snorted, injected or smoked by nearly 2 million Americans, details how it may permanently damage proteins in the body. That information, gleaned from laboratory tests, could be used to potentially detect the drug in biofluids for weeks or months -- instead of days -- after use, say scientists. The findings, which appear in the ACS journal Chemical Research in Toxicology, could also help explain cocaine's long-term health effects.

Anthony P. DeCaprio and colleagues explain that prescription and over-the-counter drugs intended for legal medical use undergo rigorous studies to determine how they work and how they might cause side effects. But there are very few similar studies on illicit drugs. Long-term use of the so-called rich man's drug is linked to depression, breathing problems, kidney diseases and sudden death. Researchers already knew that cocaine abuse can alter proteins in the body, but the exact details of how it makes these changes were not known. DeCaprio's team stepped in to investigate this mystery.

In laboratory tests, they discovered a brand-new way that cocaine breaks down and alters proteins. They speculate that these proteins could appear in users' biofluids for weeks or months after the drug is first taken. This finding could dramatically expand the window for determining past cocaine use, which currently is only detectable for up to several days. Also, the new details on cocaine metabolism contribute to a more comprehensive picture of the drug's toxic effects.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kevin J. Schneider, Anthony P. DeCaprio. Covalent Thiol Adducts Arising from Reactive Intermediates of Cocaine Biotransformation. Chemical Research in Toxicology, 2013; 131030065918005 DOI: 10.1021/tx4003116

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Clues to cocaine's toxicity could lead to better tests for detection." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131113130151.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2013, November 13). Clues to cocaine's toxicity could lead to better tests for detection. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131113130151.htm
American Chemical Society. "Clues to cocaine's toxicity could lead to better tests for detection." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131113130151.htm (accessed September 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 23, 2014) The WHO has warned up to 20,000 people could be infected with Ebola over the next few weeks. As Sonia Legg reports, the implications for the West African countries suffering from the disease are huge. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million Within 4 Months

Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million Within 4 Months

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) Health officials warn that without further intervention, the number of Ebola cases in Liberia and Sierra Leone could reach 1.4 million by January. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Cases to Triple in Weeks Without Drastic Action

WHO: Ebola Cases to Triple in Weeks Without Drastic Action

AFP (Sep. 23, 2014) The number of Ebola infections will triple to 20,000 by November, soaring by thousands every week if efforts to stop the outbreak are not stepped up radically, the WHO warned in a study on Tuesday. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
5 Ways Men Can Prevent Most Heart Attacks

5 Ways Men Can Prevent Most Heart Attacks

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) No surprise here: A recent study says men can reduce their risk of heart attack by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which includes daily exercise. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins