Health and Fitness

Dangers Of Older Allergy Drugs Often Underestimated And Overlooked

A joint GAВ LEN /EAACI report to be published in "Allergy" and available online on 8 February reviews new data on the treatment of allergies with older antihistamines compared with newer, second-generation H1-antihistamines. The research was funded by GAВ LEN, an EU-funded Network of Excellence. The findings suggest that first-generation H1-antihistamines not only make patients drowsy, but also reduce rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, impair learning, and reduce efficiency at work the next day. In addition, first-generation H1-antihistamines have been implicated in numerous civil aviation, motor vehicle, and boating accidents, and even deaths as a result of accidental or intentional overdosing in infants and young children. First-generation H1-antihistamines have also been linked to suicide cases in both teenagers and adults. New generation antihistamines on the contrary have shown an equivalent efficacy to treat symptoms while clinical studies and patients report fewer adverse effects.

Association Discovered Between Eczema In Early Childhood And Psychological Problems In Children At Age 10 Years

Eczema in early childhood may influence behavior and mental health later in life. This is a key finding of a prospective birth cohort study to which scientists of Helmholtz Zentrum Munchen contributed. In cooperation with colleagues of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat (LMU), Technische Universitat Munchen (TUM) and Marien-Hospital in Wesel, North Rhine-Westphalia this study followed 5, 991 children who were born between 1995 and 1998. The study has been published in the current issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 125 (2010); 404-410. Researchers, led by Assistant Professor Jochen Schmitt of Dresden University Hospital, Dr. Christian Apfelbacher (Heidelberg University Hospital) and Dr. Joachim Heinrich of the Institute of Epidemiology of Helmholtz Zentrum MГ nchen, discovered that children who suffered from eczema during the first two years of life were more likely to demonstrate psychological abnormalities, in particular emotional problems, at age ten years than children of the same age who had not suffered from the disease.

Examining Link Between Childhood Asthma, Sleep And School Performance

Bradley Hasbro Children's Research Center and Hasbro Children's Hospital researchers have received more than $2.5 million in direct costs from The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) to study the impact of asthma on the sleep quality and academic performance of young children. The five-year grant will allow pediatric researchers, led by Daphne Koinis-Mitchell, PhD, to evaluate the connection between asthma and allergic rhinitis symptoms (such as sneezing, congestion or a runny nose), sleep quality, and school functioning in urban, elementary school children between the ages of 7 and 9. Working in collaboration with school districts in the greater Providence area, the investigators will also look at how family and cultural risks, such as family management of asthma and allergic rhinitis and asthma-related fear, may contribute to these associations. "We know that asthma can affect how children perform in school. However, studies have not specifically shown how asthma and allergic rhinitis symptoms influence school functioning, " said Koinis-Mitchell, a child psychologist with the Bradley Hasbro Children's Research Center.

Could You Be Allergic To Valentine's Day?

Valentine's Day is approaching and many couples are making plans to celebrate. But for the 3 million Americans allergic to peanuts, tree nuts or both, a kiss may cause more than a warm feeling. For people with nut allergies, a passionate kiss with someone who has recently eaten nuts may raise the risk for a serious allergic reaction, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI). This is because once the food allergen is consumed there is no easy way to remove the evidence. Rinsing your mouth, brushing your teeth or even chewing gum does not guarantee the food allergen will not be transmitted to another person. However, studies indicate that waiting at least several hours and eating an allergen-free meal in between may be a helpful measure to avoid transmission. "We found that after our test subjects ate peanut butter, we did not detect it in their saliva after several hours with them also having eaten a peanut-free meal, " said Scott H. Sicherer, MD, FAAAAI, Professor of Pediatrics at the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute, Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.

New Insights Into Allergy-related Disorders In Children

Allergies and asthma are a continuing health problem in most developed countries, but just how do these ailments develop over the course of a childhood? In a population-based study designed to help answer this question, researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) found that 40 per cent or two of five -- of nearly 5, 000 two-year-olds had at least one reported allergy-related disorder. The most common symptom was wheezing, which was reported in 26 per cent of all children in the study, says Ingeborg Smidesang, a PhD candidate in the university's Faculty of Medicine, and the primary author of the study. Researchers are careful to point out that there is no guarantee that children who wheeze at two years old will grow up with asthma. "One of the challenges here is that we don't know which wheezers will develop asthma", Smidesang says. The findings are among the first to illustrate the scope of allergy-related problems in such a young group of children, and the challenges that these problems pose for both families and for public health systems overall.

Britons May Be Avoiding Wheat Unnecessarily, UK

Too many people are self-diagnosing food allergies and could be restricting their diet unnecessarily, according to a new report by the University of Portsmouth and commissioned by the Flour Advisory Bureau. Research shows that up to 20 per cent of adults think they suffer from a food allergy or food intolerance. However evidence suggests that the real prevalence of food allergy and intolerance in adults is less than 2 per cent. It means that millions of people could be avoiding certain foods unnecessarily and without proper medical advice. The report also reveals that over half of the British population believes that wheat allergy is a common illness and in 2009 wheat was the most commonly self reported food allergen for both men and women. Those living alone and those aged 35-44 were most likely to report such an allergy or intolerance. But the report highlights that confirmed wheat allergy is less common than other food allergies such as peanuts and other nuts, eggs and milk. Dr Heather Mackenzie and Dr Carina Venter from the School of Health Sciences at the University of Portsmouth are the authors of a new 'Wheat Hypersensitivity Report' commissioned by the Flour Advisory Bureau ahead of Food Allergy and Intolerance Week (25- 29th January 2010).

Switch Identified That Activates The Allergic Response

WHAT: A new study in human cells has singled out a molecule that specifically directs immune cells to develop the capability to produce an allergic response. The signaling molecule, called thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP), is key to the development of allergic diseases such as asthma, atopic dermatitis ( eczema ), and food allergy. The study team, led by Yong-Jun Liu, M.D., Ph.D., at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, focused on dendritic cells, immune cells that initiate the primary immune response. Dendritic cells come into contact with other immune cells known as T cells, causing them to develop into different subsets of T cells, including helper 1 (Th1) and helper 2 (Th2) cells. These T-cell subsets are involved in protective immune responses, but the Th2 cells can also drive an allergic response. Until now, it was not known how dendritic cells induced T cells to become Th2 cells. The investigators used dendritic cells isolated from the blood of healthy donors and found that the binding of TSLP to these cells activates a distinct set of signaling pathways within the cells.

Circassia Extends Its Clinical-Stage Portfolio With Phase II Trials Of T-Cell Vaccines Against House Dust Mite And Cat Allergies

Circassia Ltd, a specialty biopharmaceutical company focused on allergy, announced that it has initiated phase II clinical trials of its T-cell vaccines targeting house dust mite and cat allergies. With the start of these studies, and the ongoing trial of Circassia's ragweed allergy ( hay fever ) T-cell vaccine, the company now has three clinical development programmes in phase II. Each of these builds on earlier successful phase II results with the company's ToleroMune(R) technology, which scientifically validated the novel use of T-cell vaccines in the treatment of allergy, and identified the optimal dosing regimens to progress into late-stage development. In Circassia's cat allergy trial, which is underway in Canada, 210 patients will be randomised to receive placebo or one of two regimes of the company's T-cell vaccine. This study is the first to test Circassia's novel room-temperature-stable ToleroMune formulation. This offers great potential practical advantages compared with existing allergy desensitisation treatments, which are inherently unstable and require cold chain distribution and storage.

New Biological Models Of Homeopathy Published In Special Issues

The journal Homeopathy has published a two part special issue focusing on biological models of homeopathy. The special issue highlights experiments on homeopathic treatments in biological models, ranging from whole animals and plants to cell cultures and enzymes, showing a remarkable range of findings. Homeopathy is a form of complementary medicine which is controversial because of its use of extremely dilute medicines. Although there is considerable clinical research, homeopathy remains the subject of a heated debate. The special issue makes an important contribution to this debate, by reviewing laboratory experiments with high dilutions. It includes reviews and new findings in biosystems, ranging from whole animal behavioral, intoxication and inflammation models through diseased and healthy plant models, to test tube experiments using isolated cells, cell cultures or enzymes. Featured articles include one on the basophil degranulation test, a test tube model of allergy, developed by Jean Sainte Laudy.

Scientists Crack Peanut Code In Children

Clinicians and scientists at UHSM (University Hospital South Manchester), the University of Manchester, and Phadia AB in Uppsala, Sweden have developed a new and significantly more accurate blood test for peanut allergy, which predicts whether an allergic reaction to peanuts will develop with more than 95 per cent certainty. Peanut allergy is one of the most common food allergies in children, with recent reports suggesting that it is on the increase. It can be severe - and in extreme cases fatal. Unlike other food allergies, which appear early in life and are usually outgrown by school age (e.g. cows milk or egg), peanut allergy tends to be lifelong. Professor Adnan Custovic led the research team which examined the prevalence of peanut allergy in almost 1, 000 eight year olds who belong to the Manchester Asthma and Allergy Study. This group of children were recruited before they were born and have been followed up at regular intervals since birth. In this study, children with suspected peanut allergy were challenged with peanuts in a safe, controlled environment.

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