-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, July 19 (HealthDay News) -- A treatment in which
progressively larger servings of milk are given to children with
milk allergies provides long-term protection for some youngsters,
but others lose their tolerance over time, a new study says.
The investigators also found that many children continued to
have intermittent symptoms and some had severe allergic reactions
even after showing improvement in the early stages of
Previous research on this form of so-called "oral immunotherapy"
showed promise. But the first long-term study of the treatment
showed the need for more studies with longer follow-up, said the
researchers from the Johns Hopkins Children's Center, in
"While many children were clearly better off with treatment, our results raise troubling questions about the long-term risk for future reactions among children treated with this approach," lead investigator and pediatric allergist Dr. Corinne Keet said in a center news release.
Senior investigator Dr. Robert Wood, director of the center's
division of pediatric allergy and immunology, added: "Our results
are a clear 'proceed with caution' sign. While we've been excited
about this treatment, we also knew there were many questions that
had to be answered. Our findings provide some of those critical
The study included 32 children with milk allergies who were
followed for three to five years after they completed the therapy.
By the end of the original treatment, all but three of the children
showed some improvement and were able to consume at least some
Eight children remained symptom-free over the long term, 12 had
frequent allergy symptoms when they drank milk and seven eventually
stopped consuming milk or were limited to very small amounts. Six
children suffered serious allergic reactions, the study authors
The study was published online recently in the
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
The Nemours Foundation has more about
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