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HOPE for Kids with Peanut Allergies

By Jackie Burrell
Monday, March 16th, 2009 at 1:10 pm in Health & Safety.

Peanut Butter (Darrell Wong/Fresno Bee/MCT) An absolutely fascinating story emerged from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology conference this weekend – a story that will give hope to millions of Americans with peanut allergies. Two new studies found that when kids with peanut allergies were given careful, slowly escalating daily doses of peanuts under medical supervision, their bodies built up immunities to the allergen. Do not, as they say, try this at home. Doctors cautioned that this is not something to try without medical supervision, but said that a peanut allergy treatment could become a reality within the next two or three years.

The pilot studies done at Duke University and Arkansas Children’s Hospital involved 33 kids, who received peanut doses, administered in powder form, starting at the miniscule level – 1/1000th of a peanut – and gradually rising to 15 peanuts a day over a period of two or more years. Four kids dropped out of the program because of adverse reactions, but the rest had no allergic reactions, and five were able to start eating peanut products as part of their regular meals. Now, doctors are expanding the study, hoping to enroll another 80 families for further testing.

What do you think? Would you enroll your child in a study like this?

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