New peanut allergy patch may soon be reality, Atlanta doctor says

·2 min read

A new study shows a ‘peanut patch’ may soon be a reality and some of the research on the patch was done right here in Atlanta.

This past week, Channel 2′s Lori Wilson spoke to the director of the food allergy program at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta about how the patch works.

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“That’s a difficult thing to do... it’s very stressful for parents to have to avoid a food that’s in so many different things,” Dr. Brian Vickery, CHOA, Head of the Food Allergy Program said. “Avoiding all peanut exposure, for families whose children are severely allergic is hard.”

Vickery said that allergies and their reactions cause a child to go to the emergency room every 3 minutes in the United States. This is why he said a new peanut patch for kids ages 1-3 is exciting.

We’re just now getting to the point through all of this research where we might be able to change this for patients and actually protect them.

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One in 13 kids in the USA has a peanut allergy. Until now, treatments have only been approved for kids four and older.

The patch, in which the allergen is externally delivered offers a safer way to protect younger children. It’s a way of exposing the patient to the allergen but through the skin rather than through the GI tract.

Vickery tested 11 patients in Atlanta for the patch study, which was just published by the New England Journal of Medicine, the peanut patch was tested on more than 300 kids internationally... and it showed that after a year of wearing the peanut patch … kids with severe allergies… became less sensitive to peanuts

Vickery says this late-stage study is promising, but the patch is not meant as a cure.

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Instead, it is considered added protection in the case despite a family’s best efforts their child is accidentally exposed to peanuts.

It’s an exciting time for families and patients who might have new treatment options like this new peanut patch.

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