West Hartford, Conn (WTNH) - A new study focuses on people with peanut allergies, and this study is offered at only one facility, the New England Food Allergy Treatment Center in West Hartford.
Peanut Free Schools, a safety measure for students diagnosed with a peanut allergy. Now, there's an experimental treatment that could improve a patient's quality of life.
12-year-old Jack Zeligson has lived with a severe peanut allergy for most of his life.
"I would do anything to live a more liberated life," Zeligson said.
Life is improving since signing up for the peanut desensitization program at the New England Food Allergy Treatment Center. It is an oral immunotherapy, with patients getting increased doses of a peanut protein over time.
"What we do is initially give them, very, very tiny amounts of peanut protein by mouth, the equivalent 1/1000th of a peanut and we increase the dose over the course," Dr. Jeffrey Factor said.
"It's going well, and I am only having reaction to peanut flour very, very, not often," Zeligson said. When asked what kind of reactions he's having, he said "Sometimes my stomach will get a little upset or have a weird feeling in my throat."
The dose is taken daily, and patients are monitored closely. Medical Director Dr. Jefferey Factor emphasizes that this is not a cure for people like Jack.
"I am hopeful that we can fully desensitize him so that if he is accidentally exposed to peanut, he won't experience any or much of a reaction at all," Factor said.
So far, the results overall are promising.
"This will give him a sense of security and take the anxiety of his everyday life, knowing that he can tolerate cross contamination or traces of peanuts," Jack's Mom, Lauren Zeligson said.
"I hope to be able to go places and do things without having to be so cautious or take an epipen everywhere I go, you know, a little bit more carefree," Jack said.
The study uses protocols tested safe and effective, and the center is looking for more people to take part. They're looking for patients that are older than five years old.
For more information you can call 860-986-6099, or go to www.nefoodallergy.com
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