Doctors launching clinical trial for IV treatment they say cures drug cravings

A local clinic is taking a big step to get what they call an addiction cure widely available to more Hoosiers. It's an IV treatment that targets the area of the brain that deals with addiction.

The first clinic in Indiana is in Hamilton County. After more than two years, they say success rates are high.

Emerald Neuro Recover Center has used the NAD brain treatment on more than 100 patients. They say with a success rate of more than 80%, they want more people to have access to it. It's expensive, about $15,000. Now, they're working on launching a clinical trial with hopes that insurance companies will get on board.

"We use different amounts of NAD and then we mix it with amino acids and it's that combination, NAD and amino acids, that really kind of what I say resets the brain to the pre-addiction state," said medical director Dr. C.J. Pabla.

NAD therapy is a 10-day IV treatment that replenishes patients with a naturally occurring compound called nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide. It targets the area of the brain that deals with cravings.

"We are going to be conducting a clinical trial and I think that's very important to validate it, not only to the medical community, but get it out to insurance companies so it gives patients and our clients access to care that they normally wouldn't be able to afford," Pabla said.

Neuro recover program physician trainer Dr. John Humiston out of San Diego is joining the team to start the trial at Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne. Dr. Humiston says the goal is to show the treatment works without any personal motivation or bias.

"So taking one group which we suggested should be opiate patients since that's a big national problem and this works very predictably for opiates is to do those three so some people just get the placebo, others would get the NAD alone, others would get the NAD plus amino acids and just see what the difference is."

It's a method they believe in, but now it's time to prove it.

"It's so easy to be excited about it because it works so well but you need a well-constructed clinical study to show that and so this is a great opportunity to have that happen," Humiston said.

Tuesday was the first meeting to start constructing the study with the team in Fort Wayne. They expect the clinical trial to kick off in the next three months.