Countering severe peanut allergies through oral immunotherapy

peanuts
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Mom Monica Glover said the family discovered Ellis’ peanut allergy when she was about 3.

Glover seized the opportunity to participate in a study on the safety and effectiveness of an experimental treatment that could give her daughter protection against accidental exposure to peanuts. Despite the risk, it was “a gift,” she said, adding that her family hoped their efforts might help “lots of other children.”

The risk paid off: Two-thirds of the kids in the study were able to eat the equivalent of two peanuts without any symptoms after following the months-long experimental treatment regimen, the researchers found.

The treatment, which comes in powder-filled capsules, is an oral immunotherapy, and the concept is “treating an allergy by gradually exposing people to the very same thing they’re allergic to,” [researcher Brian] Vickery said. Essentially, the treatment is a peanut powder.

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“It’s what a lot of families call trying to be ‘bite safe.’ it’s not that you’re curing the allergy; it’s not that you’re going to be able to eat peanut butter sandwiches,” said [pediatrician Scott] Sicherer, who was not involved in the study. “It’s really just to have a better threshold so that if you accidentally ate something that had a little bit of peanut in it, maybe you wouldn’t have a reaction or the reaction wouldn’t be so bad.”

Read full, original post: Experimental treatment helps 2 out of 3 peanut allergy sufferers, study finds

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