A solution for peanut allergy could be round the corner, accoridng to new research.
British scientists have made a major step in the battle to cure children who suffer from peanut allergies using immunotherapy. According to new research, exposing sufferers to tiny fractions over time can build up their tolerance and stop a life-threatening reaction.
Researchers at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, studied 99 children aged between seven and 16, giving them small doses of peanut protein and increased the amount over six months. By the end, more than half could eat 10 peanuts without falling ill and 84% could eat five.
Peanut allergy, which is thought to now affect at least one in 50 children, can cause serious breathing problems and unlike many other child food allergies, peanut allergy usually persists into adulthood. Scientist Dr Andrew Clark, who led the study, said that the lives of families involved in the study had been changed ‘dramatically’.
‘Many people have this allergy and there are a number of deaths each year as a result,’ he said.
However, experts warned against any ‘at home’ attempts to test tolerance, adding that only specialist medical professionals should carry out the peanut therapy.
The scientists are hoping that the immunotherapy treatment will be available on the NHS in the near future.
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