Monday December 17, 2018

New Treatment Against Peanut Allergy

Compared to the placebo group, participants who took AR101 had less severe allergy symptoms

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New treatment shows promise against peanut allergy. Pixabay
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n a first, an oral immunotherapy drug derived from peanut protein could help build tolerance and eliminate potentially deadly reactions in children and adolescents with severe peanut allergies.

The study showed that controlled ingestion of the medication, called AR101, derived from peanut protein, could build tolerance as well as reduce severe allergy symptoms.

“Almost 6 million American children are currently living with a life-threatening food allergy,” said Christina Ciaccio, Associate Professor from the University of Chicago in the US.

“Every three minutes a food allergy reaction sends someone to the emergency room, contributing to the total annual cost of caring for children with food allergy to nearly $25 billion. Despite this, not a single treatment for food allergy has been approved by the FDA,” she said.

However, the drug “is not a quick fix, and it doesn’t mean people with peanut allergy will be able to eat peanuts whenever they want”, the researchers stressed, in the paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

But it is definitely a breakthrough and “results of this landmark trial are likely to lead to the first FDA-approved treatment for food allergy in 2019”, Ciaccio said.

The study showed that controlled ingestion of the medication, called AR101, derived from peanut protein, could build tolerance as well as reduce severe allergy symptoms.

As a result, people who receive and are able to tolerate this treatment should be protected from accidental exposures, the researchers noted, adding that once someone stops the treatment, there is no longer a protective effect.

For the study, the researchers at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) in the US included 496 participants aged from four to 55 years, most were four to 17 year olds, and all had peanut allergy.

One third of the participants were given a placebo, while the remaining two-thirds were given peanut protein powder as part of an oral food challenge (OFC) in increasing amounts until reaching the “maintenance dose” — equivalent of one peanut daily.

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Compared to the placebo group, participants who took AR101 had less severe allergy symptoms.

Furthermore, two-thirds of the people were able to tolerate the equivalent of two peanuts per day after nine to 12 months of treatment, and half the patients tolerated the equivalent of four peanuts. (IANS)

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A Study Found That Children Diagnosed With ASD Had A Food Allergy

"We don't know which comes first, food allergy or ASD," said Bao

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Study Found That Children Diagnosed With ASD Had A Food Allergy
Study Found That Children Diagnosed With ASD Had A Food Allergy, Pixabay

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are more than twice as likely to suffer from a food allergy than children who do not have ASD, a new study suggests.

The study found that, among the participants, 11.25 per cent of children reportedly diagnosed with ASD had a food allergy, significantly higher than the 4.25 per cent of children who were not diagnosed with ASD and had a food allergy.

“It is possible that the immunologic disruptions may have processes beginning early in life, which then influence brain development and social functioning, leading to the development of ASD,” said co-author Wei Bao, Assistant Professor at the University of Iowa, in the US.

The finding, published in the journal JAMA Network Open, adds to a growing body of research that suggests immunological dysfunction as a possible risk factor for the development of ASD.

Children
Children, Pixabay

For the study, the researchers analysed the health information of nearly 200,000 children in the US. They were aged between three to 17 and the data were gathered between 1997 and 2016.

The study also found that 18.73 per cent of children with ASD suffered from respiratory allergies, while 12.08 per cent of children without ASD had such allergies; and 16.81 per cent of children with ASD had skin allergies, well above the 9.84 per cent of children without ASD.

“This indicates there could be a shared mechanism linking different types of allergic conditions to ASD,” Bao noted.

The researcher said that the study could not determine the causality of this relationship given its observational nature.

But previous studies have suggested possible links — increased production of antibodies, immune system overreactions causing impaired brain function, neurodevelopmental abnormalities, and alterations in the gut biome, the researchers said.

Autistic Girl
Autistic Girl , Pixabay

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“We don’t know which comes first, food allergy or ASD,” said Bao, adding that another longitudinal follow-up study of children since birth would be needed to establish temporality. (IANS)