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Immunotherapy: Doctors discover remedies for peanut allergy
More and more people suffer from a peanut allergy. Researchers at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, UK, recently discovered a remedy for peanut allergy. In their experimental study, they administered tiny amounts of peanut flour to affected children to desensitize them - with success. Regardless of the severity of the peanut allergy, 80 percent of the study participants could easily eat a handful of peanuts at the end of immunotherapy.
Immunotherapy for peanut allergy Peanuts are the most common cause of food allergies. Most often, the respiratory tract, digestive system and skin are affected by allergic reactions. In severe cases, peanut allergy can also affect the cardiovascular system and cause a life-threatening condition. People with peanut allergy must therefore be very careful when choosing their food. Many products only contain traces of peanuts, but these too can trigger dangerous reactions in allergy sufferers. So far, there has been no promising therapy for allergy.
However, British researchers may now have found an antidote. In the specialist magazine "The Lancet", study director Andrew Clark and his colleagues report on a procedure that is already used by people with bollards. The slowly increasing administration of the allergenic substance is intended to get used to the allergens and to prevent the immune system's excessive immune response. Clark and his team performed immunotherapy on 99 children under the age of 16. By taking a special peanut flour, which the children received in slowly increasing doses over several months, their immune system got used to the peanuts. Initially, the children received only two milligrams of the flour, and finally, it was 800 milligrams. The most common complaints were itching in the mouth, nausea and stomach pain. However, after six months, the symptoms in 80 percent of the children had disappeared, so that they could even eat a handful of peanuts without any problems.
Effectiveness of immunotherapy against peanut allergy needs to be examined in further studies The study was intended to check whether immunotherapy can protect against life-threatening allergic reactions if children accidentally eat peanut-containing foods.
"Oral immunotherapy caused desensitization in most children with peanut allergy of any severity," the researchers write in the journal. "The quality of life improved after the treatment." Further studies would now have to be carried out with larger numbers of participants. The researchers also point out that their results can only be applied to the age group examined.
Matthew Greenhawt of the University of Michigan describes the result of the investigation as "extremely promising". However, it is unclear whether immunotherapy with peanut flour has a "lasting effect". (Ag)
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