Agriculture
New Gene Fights Potato Blight
Protecting Cows—and People—from a Deadly Disease
Fast-flying fungal spores
Amphibians
Newts
Salamanders and Newts
Bullfrogs
Animals
Hot Pepper, Hot Spider
Saving Africa's Wild Dogs
Clone Wars
Behavior
Supersonic Splash
A Global Warming Flap
The Colorful World of Synesthesia
Birds
Albatrosses
Falcons
Vultures
Chemistry and Materials
Sticking Around with Gecko Tape
Supersonic Splash
Earth from the inside out
Computers
Games with a Purpose
Secrets of an Ancient Computer
Look into My Eyes
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Battling Mastodons
Digging for Ancient DNA
Middle school science adventures
E Learning Jamaica
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Earth
Coral Gardens
Life trapped under a glacier
Pollution at the ends of the Earth
Environment
Pumping Up Poison Ivy
A Change in Climate
An Ocean View's Downside
Finding the Past
Childhood's Long History
Settling the Americas
Unearthing Ancient Astronomy
Fish
Trout
Tuna
Megamouth Sharks
Food and Nutrition
Yummy bugs
Allergies: From Bee Stings to Peanuts
Moving Good Fats from Fish to Mice
GSAT English Rules
Pronouns
Problems with Prepositions
Order of Adjectives
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
Preparing for the GSAT Exam
Scotiabank Jamaica Foundation Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) Scholarships
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
GSAT Scholarship
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
GSAT Mathematics
Math is a real brain bender
Detecting True Art
Monkeys Count
Human Body
From Stem Cell to Any Cell
Don't Eat That Sandwich!
What the appendix is good for
Invertebrates
Clams
Flatworms
Scorpions
Mammals
Bonobos
Wolves
Koalas
Parents
Children and Media
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
Expert report highlights the importance to parents of reading to children!
Physics
Black Hole Journey
The Pressure of Scuba Diving
IceCube Science
Plants
Sweet, Sticky Science
Assembling the Tree of Life
The algae invasion
Reptiles
Chameleons
Caimans
Snapping Turtles
Space and Astronomy
Planets on the Edge
Super Star Cluster in the Neighborhood
Big Galaxy Swallows Little Galaxy
Technology and Engineering
Machine Copy
A Satellite of Your Own
A Micro-Dose of Your Own Medicine
The Parts of Speech
Adjectives and Adverbs
Pronouns
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
Transportation
Are Propellers Fin-ished?
Reach for the Sky
Revving Up Green Machines
Weather
Warmest Year on Record
Weekend Weather Really Is Different
Antarctica warms, which threatens penguins
Add your Article

Treating peanut allergy bit by bit

Peanut allergies are among the most common and most dangerous food allergies. A tiny exposure to peanuts can mean big trouble for a person with a peanut allergy, with symptoms ranging from sneezing or coughing to the constriction, or narrowing, of airways. Some people die from the exposure.

But a tiny exposure may help scientists find a cure. A recent study suggests that some children may be able to beat back their allergic reactions to peanuts by gradually introducing trace amounts of the nut into their diets. It’s too early to say for certain, so if you have a peanut allergy, do not try this at home. But the first results look promising.

Two teams of scientists have been experimenting on a group of 29 children, with an average age five years old, who are allergic to peanuts. At the beginning of the study, each kid received less than 1/1,000th of a peanut per day. (Imagine splitting a peanut into 1,000 parts!) Over the course of the study, the children gradually increased the amount of peanuts in their diets. At home, their parents sprinkled peanut powder on their food, and in the laboratory, the children drank solutions with peanuts dissolved inside.

Nine of the children have been receiving the treatment for two years. Five of those nine now appear to be free of their peanut allergies, says Wesley Burks, a pediatric allergist and immunologist at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C. These five kids can eat peanuts with no problem. “They are putting peanuts in their diet,” Burks says.

Of those nine, the other four have not benefited as much from the therapy. Burks and his team will release data from the other 20 children in the study later this year.

The two teams of scientists are now doing a follow-up study on two groups of children with the allergy. Children in one group will receive the gradual peanut therapy, and the others will not. Burks and the other researchers hope this study will help them learn if the therapy truly works or not.

The study raises many questions, both from parents of children with the allergies and from other doctors. Scott Sicherer, an allergist at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, asks, “Have we really cured the allergy, or are [the patients] just desensitized while they are getting the treatment?”

Scientists don’t understand why some people get peanut allergies and others don’t, but they’re scrambling to find a way to help people with the allergy. Because of the severity of a peanut allergy, scientists want to know as soon as possible. “This is very encouraging, but it’s not something you try at home,” says Sicherer.


Power words: (from the Yahoo! Kids Dictionary, which is also the The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

allergy: an abnormally high sensitivity to certain substances, such as pollens, foods or microorganisms. Common signs of allergy may include sneezing, itching and skin rashes.

allergist: a doctor specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of allergies

desensitize: to decrease the sensitivity or reaction to something

immunologist: a doctor specializing in the immune system, your body’s defense against illness

legume: a plant in the pea family, or a fruit or a seed from that plant. Legumes include peas, beans, peanuts and seeds.

Treating peanut allergy bit by bit
Treating peanut allergy bit by bit








Designed and Powered by HBJamaica.com™