Vim & Vigor - Summer 2014 - University of Virginia - (Page 3)

A Peanut a Day to Keep Allergies at Bay? By Kelly Casey W hen her daughter's first birthday was just a week away, Melissa Hoover of Ivy, Va., decided it was time for Madden to have her first taste of egg. The first-time mom had read all the baby books and knew eggs were prone to trigger an allergic reaction. Sure enough, Madden broke out in hives all over her face. Fortunately, Madden outgrew her egg allergy. But the incident prompted a visit to the doctor, and tests later revealed that Madden was allergic to other foods, including peanuts. Food allergies affect an estimated one in 13 American children. Some can be scary: just a tiny amount of the ubiquitous peanut can trigger lifethreatening anaphylaxis. About 20 percent of children will outgrow a peanut allergy by age 5, but the majority of kids have it for life, says Scott Commins, MD, PhD, a University of Virginia Health System allergy specialist. Until recently, he and other allergy experts could only advise parents to make sure their children avoided peanuts, hope they'd outgrow the allergy and keep epinephrine medicine close at hand in case of an accidental ingestion. But a pilot study at UVA Children's Hospital is giving families another option. UVA is among a handful of centers nationwide testing an investigational therapy designed to desensitize a person to peanuts. The therapy works by introducing a child to a tiny amount of peanuts, then gradually giving larger quantities over the course of a year and a half. This is all done in a safe clinical setting and should never be tried at home without a doctor's supervision. Madden is among the first 16 children, ranging in age from 4 to 19, to complete a round of UVA trials that Sum mer 2014 3

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vim & Vigor - Summer 2014 - University of Virginia

Vim & Vigor - Summer 2014 - University of Virginia
Life in Balance
A Peanut a Day to Keep Allergies at Bay?
Close Watch on a Young Brain
Stress SOS
The Truth About Sunscreen
The Transformers
Get Your Head in the Game
The Journey Continues
On the Cover
The Foot Follies
Friendly Fat
Virtual Health
Finding a Way Out of Grief
Deep Impact
Expecting the Unexpected

Vim & Vigor - Summer 2014 - University of Virginia