Sunday, February 21, 2010

Kindergarten birthday parties could get easier...

At least preparing the treats for them, anyway.
Dr Andrew Clark, at Addenbrooke's hospital in Cambridge, believes the £1million NHS sponsored research project will help rid thousands of children of their allergic reaction to peanuts.
It could also be the beginning of the end for all food allergies, he claimed.
The new study follows a successful former trial in which 23 children were given tiny doses of peanut flour every day, gradually increasing the dose until now they can eat five or more nuts a day.
Previously the children would have risked anaphylactic shock or even death if they accidentally ate even a trace amount of peanut.
The team said this was the first time that so-called “desensitisation treatment” had been successful.
Earlier attempts at exposing children with peanut allergies to the nuts caused serious reactions.
It is thought this treatment has worked because it used small doses of flour, put into yoghurt, which was eaten rather than previous attempts which involved injecting peanut extract or oil.  [More]
The greater hope is this avenue of study will lessen the fear many have developed that something other than the actual food is causing these reactions.  If such desensitization techniques can help children early on with common foods the perception that the issue is an inaccurate immune reaction rather than an environmental cause could not only ease many parental fears, but forestall unsubstantiated charges of production method causes.

I hope so. Most of us know a child whose life is complicated by allergic food reactions. It is often heart-breaking for the child and the parents.

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