Can adult peanut allergy sufferers be treated?

  • 1 Replies

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


Zacharie LeBlanc

  • Guest
Can adult peanut allergy sufferers be treated?
« on: 01/06/2011 16:30:03 »
Zacharie LeBlanc  asked the Naked Scientists:
Hi all,

I'm a big fan, listening in from Guelph, Ontario right now (that's in Canada).  My girlfriend has a severe peanut allergy and I had a few questions for your guest.  Are there any options for overcoming a peanut allergy for someone in their mid 20s?  All of the studies I've heard about are carried out on children, why is this?

Thanks so much and keep up the good work, I love the show!

Zach LeBlanc
Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology
University of Guelph

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 01/06/2011 16:30:03 by _system »


Offline CliffordK

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 6321
  • Site Moderator
    • View Profile
Can adult peanut allergy sufferers be treated?
« Reply #1 on: 01/06/2011 23:52:14 »
Some allergies can be effectively treated with habituation and desensitization. 

I assume it can be done in the teens and twenties, or even older. 

However, the use of desensitization for peanut allergies appears to be a relatively new, and still experimental study, but the theory seems to be the same as other allergy treatments, administering small doses of the allergen, and then incrementally increasing the doses.

It is a rigorous treatment, and may take over a year worth of regular doctor visits (weekly?).  And due to the potential life threatening nature of the allergy, the treatments should be observed when administered.  Your girlfriend would have to be willing to go for the entire treatment regimen.

The advantage, of course, is that even if she doesn't choose to eat peanuts; if it is effective, then it would offer an element of protection should she encounter foods contaminated with peanuts or peanut oil.