Food Allergy Treatments for Children Show Promise
Source: NBC News
An estimated 15 million people in the United States have a food allergy of some sort, and according to the journal “Pediatrics,” 5.9 million of them are children. Now researchers are working on a way to desensitize patients who suffer from some of the most common allergens in the U.S.: peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, soy and wheat. Dr. Stephen Tilles of the Northwest Asthma and Allergy Center and Seattle Children’s says there are now two treatments being tested that may give children a chance to taste food that would normally send them to the hospital. The first involves a skin patch that contains a small amount of the food allergen’s protein. The protein is absorbed by the top layers of the skin, providing immunotherapy. Tilles is currently testing this patch with the peanut allergen. The second is oral immunotherapy. Patients are given a low dose of an allergen in the hospital – enough to produce mild symptoms. They continue to receive that dose for a couple weeks, Tilles, said, until they can tolerate a bit more. Over time, the patient becomes desensitized to the allergen.
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Ranked as one of the top children’s hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Seattle Children’s serves as the pediatric and adolescent academic medical center for Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho – the largest region of any children’s hospital in the country. As one of the nation's top five pediatric research centers, Seattle Children’s Research Institute is internationally recognized for its work in neurosciences, immunology, cancer, infectious disease, injury prevention and much more. Seattle Children’s Hospital and Research Foundation works with the Seattle Children’s Guild Association, the largest all-volunteer fundraising network for any hospital in the country, to gather community support and raise funds for uncompensated care and research.
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