Experimental peanut allergy treatment shows positive signs

A peanut allergy treatment going through clinical trials has been showing promising signs for children taking part, a study found.

The study, published in the Lancet journal, has allowed the kids to slowly build up the ability to consume peanuts, reports BBC News.

Of the 99 children taking part in the study, 84 percent are now able to eat up to five peanuts a day. The clinical trials conducted in Cambridge's Addenbrooke's Hopsital, involve them eating small amounts of peanut protein daily, and then continually increasing the amount every couple of weeks.

The kids are given the equivalent of 70th of a peanut, which is much lower than the amount needed to induce an allergic reaction, at the start, but then the doses are upped.

Eleven-year-old Lena Barden said that at first she had to visit the hospital "every two weeks," where her dosage would be upped under careful eye in case an allergic reaction occurred. "A year later I could eat five whole peanuts with no reaction at all." She did add that the trials have altered her life, but she "still hate[s] peanuts!"

According to Fox News, at the start of the clinical trials, each kid first had to undergo a "challenge test," so the scientists could determine how much the children could initially tolerate peanuts.

A smaller percentage of the group, 62 percent, are able to consume even more peanuts on a daily basis, with some up to 10. Study author Dr. Pamela, who is the Cambridge University Hospitals' head of the allergy department, said, "We think this is fantastic because this is the first study which really shows peanut desensitization works."

image: Wikimedia Commons

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