Saturday , April 1 2023

Peanut allergy therapy "in the eyes"


Emily Pratta

Image Caption

Emily says she can now enjoy a friend's birthday cake

Peanut allergy can be overcome with treatment that slowly forms tolerance, according to a large study.

None of the nearly 500 children from four to 17 years of age from the United States and Europe could tolerate even a tenth of peanuts.

But after taking a tiny daily dose for a year, two thirds could endure at least two whole peanuts.

Emily Pratta, six, said the BBC Today program, it was a big difference. "I could not record a birthday cake for lunch, and now I can," she said.

She can now endure about seven peanuts, which means she can safely eat food, even if they can have peanut traces.

Food labels

Emily's mother Sophie from the north of London said, "It has been a constant stress.

"We were quite shocked how you could find peanut and nut traces in all foods, especially foods that are childhood foods – cakes, cookies, ice cream – and that was what was stressful.

"We had to constantly check food labels to ensure that peanuts were completely destroyed from Emile's diet.

"Her allergy was very severe, so even a small amount of peanuts could have caused a very serious reaction.

"The impact on our family life was huge."

Accidental effects

A UK investigator at the Palisade study published in New England Journal of Medicine, George du Toit, consultant at the London Children's Hospital Evelyn, said: "The results of this new study are very promising and suggest that we will be able to protect children, who has an allergy to peanuts after a severe reaction after accidental exposure.

"This is an extremely good news, since the number of children diagnosed with peanut allergy has more than doubled over the last twenty years in the United Kingdom.

"Peanut allergy is very difficult to manage for children and their families, because they have to follow strict peanut-free diets.

"Families live for fear of accidental exposure, because allergic reactions can be very severe and even death can be."

During the study, the participants were randomly assigned to groups who either received the kernel from peanut protein or dummy powder. The amount awarded gradually increases to create tolerance.

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