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Peanut allergy may be treatable

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The study found 2 in 3 could tolerate peanuts The study found 2 in 3 could tolerate peanuts after the treatment

Peanut allergy sufferers may be able to alleviate their condition, a worldwide study has suggested.

The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine increasing amounts of peanut protein over a year was given to children diagnosed with a severe allergy.

The trial found that participants not normally able to tolerate exposure to even a tenth of a single peanut could eventually cope with two whole peanuts. It is believed that by gradually building up tolerance levels, allergy sufferers could protect themselves from accidental exposure.

Peanut allergy is extremely difficult to manage for children and their families, as they have to follow a strict peanut-free diet,’ said Professor George du Toit, the study's chief investigator. Families live in fear of accidental exposure as allergic reactions can be very severe, and can even lead to death.’

The study found about two-thirds (67%) of children and teenagers could tolerate at least 600mg of peanut protein, compared with 4% of participants on the dummy placebo. The authors commented that this suggests that the treatment could improve the quality of life for patients with severe peanut allergy.

‘Until recently there has been nothing to offer peanut allergy suffers other than education around peanut avoidance and recognition and self-treatment of allergic reactions,’ added Professor Du Toit.

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