New hope for peanut al­lergy suf­fer­ers re­vealed

The Herald on Sunday - - THE WEEK -

PEANUT al­lergy suf­fer­ers have been given new hope fol­low­ing the re­sults of a land­mark study.

Chil­dren di­ag­nosed with a se­vere al­lergy took part in a trial where they were given in­creas­ing amounts of peanut pro­tein over a year.

The trial found that par­tic­i­pants not nor­mally able to tol­er­ate ex­po­sure to even one-tenth of a sin­gle peanut could even­tu­ally cope with two whole peanuts.

It is be­lieved that by grad­u­ally build­ing up tol­er­ance lev­els, al­lergy suf­fer­ers could pro­tect them­selves from ac­ci­den­tal ex­po­sure.

The re­search by Evelina Lon­don Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal and King’s Col­lege Lon­don sug­gests im­munother­apy treat­ment, al­ready used to treat pollen and bee sting al­ler­gies, could pro­tect peo­ple from life-threat­en­ing re­ac­tions.

The re­sults, pub­lished in the New Eng­land Jour­nal of Medicine, found around two thirds (67%) of chil­dren and teenagers could tol­er­ate at least 600mg of peanut pro­tein, com­pared with just four per cent of par­tic­i­pants on the dummy placebo.

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