Peanut allergies are scary, so people who are allergic know to avoid that flavor like the plague. A new study at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine is looking at something called "Sublingual Immunotherapy". That's a fancy way to say they're trying to cure peanut allergies. So far it's working in some patients.
Researchers there put tiny amounts of liquefied peanut under the tongue of those with peanut allergies. After that, they slowly increase the amount of peanut exposure, which teaches the immune system there's nothing to fear.
Researcher Dr. Wesley Burks said, "Holding it under the tongue allows it to be absorbed into our immune system in a faster and better way."
Shelly Freeman's son has been a part of the experiment. She says, "He can have candy bars, he can have anything that's processed with peanuts now. So that's opened up a whole new world for him."
Shelly's son, Stormer, has been allergic to peanuts all his life. She says after enrolling in this study, he can even eat Reese's cups now. While researchers say this therapy is promising, it still is years away from clinical use, and do not try this at home.
Out of those 40 people in this initial study, it did not work for about a third of the people. Researchers there always the fear that allergy sufferers can still have an unknown severe reaction at any time.
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