New research suggests that for children who are highly allergic to peanuts, there is a significant chance of reducing the risk of adverse and potentially life-threatening reactions to the food.
In a clinical trial of young peanut-allergic children aged one to three years, most participants who underwent an oral immunotherapy regime saw a significant improvement in their condition over the course of the experiment — a result that could lead to new treatments. Is.
Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), says, “Historic results from the IMPACT trial suggest a window of opportunity to overcome peanut allergy through oral immunotherapy in early childhood.” testing.
“It is our hope that these study findings will inform the development of treatment methods that reduce the burden of peanut allergy in children.”
In the trial, 146 children were recruited, with two-thirds of the group receiving peanut immunotherapy, in which they took a small daily oral dose of peanut flour (made from crushed peanuts), to mask the taste of their food. mixed with.
The remaining participants consumed a daily dose of a placebo flour that did not contain peanuts.
After two and a half years of ongoing treatment, about 70 percent of children who received peanut immunotherapy had become sensitive to peanuts, meaning they were able to eat 5 grams of protein from peanuts (equivalent to 1.5 tablespoons of peanut butter) . Allergic reaction at the conclusion of the experiment.
In addition, about one-fifth (21 percent) of participants in the immunotherapy group had achieved remission, which the study defined as no allergic reaction when children consumed the same amount of peanut protein for six months. Is. After the course of treatment ended (during which time they had abstained from eating peanuts).
By comparison, only one child (out of fifty children) in the control group showed signs of desensitization or remission, the researchers found.
Researchers say the findings are not the first evidence of the effectiveness of peanut immunotherapy in young children, but it is the first study of its kind to examine the therapy in under-fours.
And we need all the information we can collect, given that this is an issue that affects up to 2 percent of children in America, and for which effective measures are sorely lacking.
“Apart from prevention and medication to treat allergic reactions or anaphylaxis, there are no treatment options, resulting in a substantial burden on children with allergies and their caregivers to avoid accidental exposure,” says the University of North Carolina Pediatrics. Specialist and immunologist Wesley Burke says. Chapel Hill, who led the trial.
“Discovering safe and effective medical options for children with peanut allergies is critical to improving the quality of life for this group of patients, especially since most children remain allergic for their lifetime.”
According to the results, oral peanut immunotherapy may be just one such therapy, although it is worth noting that even under controlled conditions of the experiment – which gradually increased the amount of peanut protein powder (from 0.1 mg to 2,000 mg) – Most children had at least one allergic reaction to their supplements at some point.
While the majority of these reactions were mild or moderate, 35 incidents involved treating the participant with epinephrine, a reminder of how much the health risks of severe allergic reactions really exist.
For those who did receive treatment, however, the results suggest that oral immunotherapy can significantly alter patients’ susceptibility to peanut allergies, and the youngest may benefit the most.
“Interestingly, we also observed that children who received remission were more likely to be on the younger end of the age group, with the best outcomes in children aged one year, suggesting that many Early intervention may provide the best opportunity to achieve remission,” says the study’s first author, Stacy Jones, a pediatric immunologist-immunologist at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
“However, there were only a small number of children under one year of age enrolled in our study, so more studies are needed to investigate this finding.”
Findings have been reported the Lancet,