Naked Science Forum

Life Sciences => Physiology & Medicine => Topic started by: another_someone on 12/12/2007 20:02:07

Title: Cat allergy help required!
Post by: another_someone on 12/12/2007 20:02:07
Cat allergy help required

I shall be around at my half brothers on xmas day.  It is the first time I have been there for a couple of years - not since on two previous occasions I have had to go running out of there sneezing my head off due to the cats.

Most cats, if I take some anti-histamines, I can just about cope with the cats for about 24 hours (at most), but these (some sort of short haired Burmese variety - obviously invented by the junta there as a form of torture), I seem to have about a 30 minute tolerance to, even with anti-histamines.

Anyone any ideas that will allow me to survive xmas without running out, for at least 4 hours.
Title: Cat allergy help required!
Post by: neilep on 12/12/2007 20:17:10
Happy Chrimbo !

 [ Invalid Attachment ]

Glad I could help ! [;)]

Title: Cat allergy help required!
Post by: neilep on 12/12/2007 20:44:21
Ok...I (at great expense)....found this intersting article just for you (actually I haven't read it !!) I hope it is !!

From the Guardian 2005:

Scientists a whisker away from cat allergy cure

Breakthrough offers hope of end to many overreactions

          o Alok Jha, science correspondent
          o The Guardian,
          o Monday March 28 2005

It is a familiar problem for many cat owners: you love your pet but every time it gets near, you break into a fit of sneezing, develop a rash or your eyes start to water.

There are pills around to help with the symptoms but you are resigned to the fact that your cat will always cause problems.

But there is now fresh hope for sufferers. Scientists report in the journal Nature Medicine today that they have invented a way of tackling cat allergies that will, one day, lead to a cure.

Andrew Saxon, of the University of California in Los Angeles, injected mice - genetically engineered to be allergic to cats - with a newly developed part-cat, part-human protein. Within a month, the mice were cured of the allergy.

Dr Saxon said the technique could be extended to develop cures for potentially deadly allergies to foods such as nuts.

According to the Royal College of Physicians (RCP), 30% of adults and 40% of children in Britain suffer from some sort of allergy. And the numbers are increasing. In 1990, peanut allergy was extremely rare but six years later, it affected one in 200 children. The figure may now be as high as one in 50.

In 2003, the RCP concluded that the British population had the highest prevalence of allergy in Europe and ranked it among the highest in the world.

Allergy is an over-reaction of the immune system to proteins that should normally pose no problems. Examples of these proteins, known as allergens, are found in cats, horses, nuts, milk and pollen.

Dr Saxon likened allergic response in people to "collateral damage" in a military assault. "It's damage because of your own attack, and you'd be better off leaving it alone," he said.

When foreign proteins enter the body, the immune system gets ready to attack in self-defence. This is useful if the foreign protein turns out to be a germ, but if pollen or cat allergens are mistaken for germs, the immune system will sometimes generate an inappropriate response. It will produce large amounts of an antibody called immunoglobulin E (IgE). This triggers the release of a chemical called histamine which causes symptoms such as inflammation, rashes and swelling.

Modern allergy treatment works by giving patients small doses of the allergen for several years in an attempt to re-train the immune system into recognising it. "The problem is that it's like giving a small dose of poison," said Dr Saxon. "We were interested in finding a way of doing that but [in] a way where it's going to train the immune system without making you sick."

The new technique involves the use of a protein which trains the immune system but prevents any ill-effects. Dr Saxon fused the cat allergen with a human protein that normally acts as a brake on the immune system. When this hybrid protein enters the body, the cat part causes the immune system to produce IgE as part of an allergic reaction. The human part calms things down and, in the process, resets the immune system.

Dr Saxon was hopeful that the process would lead to treatments that could cure people of allergies safely in just over a month, instead of taking up to five years.

He now wants to tackle the deadly food allergies for which there are no treatments available. Food allergies are particularly dangerous because of the amount of allergen that can enter the body. "When you eat a peanut, the amount of allergen you eat is enormous compared with what you might breathe [in]," he said.

And, although fusing together peanut and human proteins has so far proved difficult, Dr Saxon is confident that the problem can be overcome. However, his cat allergy cure is still several years - and many clinical trials - away from becoming a mass-market treatment. Cat lovers might have to put up with the sneezing for just a little while longer.
Title: Cat allergy help required!
Post by: another_someone on 12/12/2007 22:05:18
Now, can they have this grand idea working by Christmas?
Title: Cat allergy help required!
Post by: Soul Surfer on 17/12/2007 23:48:39
I am allergic to dogs and cats.  If I am visiting friends and neighbours that keep these animals I find having a few important rules helps a lot.

1 Never be in the house if a vacuum cleaner is being used or the house is being swept or dusted and wait a few hours before going back in.

2 Avoid rooms and occasions when people roughhouse the animals or generally stir up dust. 

3 Do not have any physical contact with the animal whatever.  This is difficult for me because I love dogs and was brought up with them and did not realise that my continual wheezing and itchy eyes was an allergy until I left home.

4 Wash your hands very frequently (particularly BEFORE going to the toilet!)and avoid touching your face and particularly your eyes unless you have washed your hands immediately before doing so.  Also avoid sitting and lying on the floor or touching low areas where the animal is likely to walk.

5 Avoid all violent activities and breathe slowly and gently through the nose as long as it is working.

The whole aim is to avoid getting any dust from the animals anywhere near sensitive parts of the body.  It's far better to sneeze a bit and avoid the dreaded wheezing itching lungs!
Title: Cat allergy help required!
Post by: rosalind dna on 19/12/2007 12:28:27
Another someone, sorry that I can't help much except that the fact of being a cat owner
and having some of my family, who happen to be allergic to cats also take antihistimanes
like Hay Fever sufferers do in the summer time. If you happen to have that condition too
then have a look into it also here are a few related links.
Title: Cat allergy help required!
Post by: another_someone on 20/12/2007 06:12:41
Sorry I did not respond here earlier (it was on my list of things to do).

Thank you Ian for the suggestions.  Many of those things are things I would normally do anyway (such as washing my hands after touching animals - but I don't want to get to the point of looking like I'm suffering from OCD as well), but other things I shall bear in mind.