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New Trials Show Promise for Peanut Allergy Remission in Kids

Aug 22, 2022

New Trials Show Promise for Peanut Allergy Remission in Kids

For the parent of a child who suffers from a peanut allergy, it can be challenging to keep them safe from life-threatening allergic reactions while at school, on the playground or out and about in public spaces. It is estimated that 2% of children under the age of 17 live with a peanut allergy, which equates to roughly 1.5 million kids in the United States. The risk of a serious allergic reaction by accidentally consuming peanut products is very real for these children, but a new clinical study from Australia shows major potential for an innovative treatment option that can help put children into remission from their peanut allergy.

Peanut Allergy 101

Peanut allergies occur when the immune system accidentally identifies peanut proteins as a hazard, causing an allergic reaction. Children can experience an allergic reaction in various ways, whether it’s a result of ingesting peanuts or peanut-containing foods, inhaling dust or aerosols from products such as peanut flour and peanut oil cooking spray, or from consuming food that came into contact with peanuts during processing.

Many children experience only mild reactions to peanut interaction, such as hives, swelling, itching around the mouth and throat, and digestive issues such as diarrhea and nausea. These symptoms can be treated with over-the-counter allergy medications such as Benadryl. However, severe allergic reactions — known as anaphylaxis — are considered life-threatening, as patients can have trouble breathing due to restricted airways and swelling of the throat. Anaphylaxis requires treatment from an epinephrine injector pen, commonly known as an EpiPen, which must be always kept in possession in the event of a severe allergic reaction.

Potential in new peanut allergy treatment

In a study published in May 2022 and led by researchers from Telethon Kids Institute and Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Australia, a clinical trial showed that gene networks in children with a peanut allergy can be reprogrammed with a combination of a probiotic treatment and peanut oral immunotherapy, which involves gradually introducing peanuts into a child’s diet. This combination treatment method works to effectively shut down the allergic immune response to peanuts by successfully altering the allergen-specific immune cells, known as Th2 cells. If the combination treatment is successful, it can result in the allergy going into long-term remission, providing relief to kids and families living with a peanut allergy.

The 18-month study involved 62 peanut allergic kids ages 1 to 10. Some got a placebo, while others got the combination treatment. At the end of the study, 74% of the participants who received the combination treatment achieved full remission from their peanut allergy. While the combination treatment is still in the research stages, the results show immense promise that this form of treatment can control peanut allergies in children.

When it comes to allergies, staying in the know is essential. Midwest Express Clinic offers allergy testing and other related diagnostic services for children and parents, with walk-in and scheduled appointments available in all locations. Visit our website to find a clinic near you.

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