Peanut Allergy Cure Found?

Kim Conte
5

peanut butterIf you have a child with food allergies, this news might shock you:

Researchers may be well on their way to discovering a treatment for peanut allergies. Two new studies show that a "medically supervised daily dose of peanuts" over a long period of time may help children with peanut allergy tolerate peanuts. The scary part? Um, I think it's the part about the "daily dose of peanuts"...

It's true that the daily therapy sounds risky. But doctors monitored the children in the studies closely and only gave them one-thousandth of a peanut, gradually increasing the amount only when they were confident they could tolerate it.

In one of the studies (done at Duke University and Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock), 33 kids with peanut allergy received the therapy; currently, most are tolerating the peanuts; four dropped out because they could not tolerate the therapy; and five stopped treatment because after two and a half years they could tolerate peanuts.

The results are inconclusive as to whether these five children have been "cured." Additionally, the treatment is not considered safe enough to preform outside a medical research facility (in other words, DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME). Still, the results are certainly hopeful for parents of kids with peanut allergies; possibly a cure is on the horizon. Can you imagine not having to worry about whether your child is getting sick from accidentally eating a peanut?

What do you think about this? Would you be nervous having your child participate in such a risky study?

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