General Allergy News: December 2006 Archives

Cleveland Clinic gives Asthmatx Top 10 award

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Asthmatx Asthmatx Inc., a medical device company that focuses on a catheter-based procedure for the treatment for asthma, said Wednesday its investigational treatment was named one of the Top Ten Medical Innovations for 2007 by the Cleveland Clinic.

Mountain View-based Asthmatx said the list recognizes breakthrough medical technologies that have the potential to have an impact on health care in 2007.

Asthmatx said its bronchial thermoplasty, a minimally-invasive procedure, is a non-drug treatment for asthma that is currently under clinical investigation at more than 30 research centers around the world.

Is that runny nose a cold, an allergy, or sinusitus?

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allergyQ. I have a daughter who just started kindergarten and one in preschool. My older daughter has bad allergies, and it seems like all the kids in both girls' schools have runny noses. I'd like some guidelines about allergies and how to recognize a sinus infection versus a cold. a mother and teacher in Charlotte

The cold-allergies question is complex, says a pediatrician and father in Concord. "This is something we struggle with as pediatricians every day," says Dr. Greg Guerriero.

Teachers reluctantly deal with the issue as well, wondering whether their snotty-nosed charges should be at home.

Under-the-tongue allergy therapy cost-effective

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sublingual immunotherapy NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Under-the-tongue or "sublingual" immunotherapy -- what doctors call SLIT -- is cost-effective for treating adults with pollen-induced respiratory allergy, according to a report.

SLIT is not officially in use in the United States, although some allergists use it "with satisfactory results," Dr. Giovanni Passalacqua from University of Genoa, Italy told Reuters Health. "The problem is formal, due to the fact that SLIT has not the approval of the FDA. Clinical studies endorsed by the FDA are currently ongoing to get the approval."

"In Europe the situation is completely different, and SLIT is widely used in many countries (e.g., Italy, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Greece, and Hungary)," Passalacqua said.

ga2lenGA²LEN welcomes the vote of the European Parliament on the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) on 30 November that acknowledges allergic diseases as major chronic diseases to be addressed in European research during the coming 7 years (2007 - 2013).

The European Parliament adopted the report of Prof. Jerzy Buzek that recognises “respiratory diseases including those induced by allergies” as health priorities to be addressed by translational research. This will allow respiratory allergic diseases (including asthma) to be covered by the research programme under the health theme.

child in a poolAbstract

The pool chlorine hypothesis postulates that the rise in childhood asthma in the developed world could result at least partly from the increasing exposure of children to toxic gases and aerosols contaminating the air of indoor chlorinated pools. To further assess this hypothesis, we explored the relationships between childhood asthma, atopy, and cumulated pool attendance (CPA). We studied 341 schoolchildren 10-13 years of age who attended at a variable rate the same public pool in Brussels (trichloramine in air, 0.3-0.5 mg/m3). Examination of the children included a questionnaire, an exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB) test, and the measurement of exhaled nitric oxide (eNO) and total and aeroallergen-specific serum IgE. CPA by children (range, 0-1,818 hr) emerged among the most consistent predictors of asthma (doctor diagnosed or screened with the EIB test) and of elevated eNO, ranking immediately after atopy and family history of asthma or hay fever. Although the risk of elevated eNO increased with CPA [odds ratio (OR) = 1.30 ; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.10-1.43] independently of total or specific serum IgE, the probability of developing asthma increased with CPA only in children with serum IgE > 100 kIU/L (OR for each 100-hr increase in CPA = 1.79; 95% CI, 1.07-2.72). All these effects were dose related and most strongly linked to pool attendance before 6-7 years of age. Use of indoor chlorinated pools especially by young children interacts with atopic status to promote the development of childhood asthma. These findings further support the hypothesis implicating pool chlorine in the rise of childhood asthma in industrialized countries.

If you have allergies, check this holiday list twice

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allergySeasons greetings. And gesundheit.

Christmas greenery, holiday flowers and yuletide fires can inflame allergies, causing itchy eyes, runny noses and skin rashes, experts warn. No wonder Rudolph's nose was red.

Most holiday allergies are minor, but for anyone with asthma and other lung conditions, they can cause serious breathing problems, says allergist James Seltzer, chair of the Indoor Allergy Committee of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

ga2lenA recent report by the EU-backed Network of Excellence GA2LEN, Global Allergy and Asthma European Network, highlights new suspected linkages between diet and allergies, particularly in children. Experts suggest that there has been a fundamental shift in European diets over the past twenty to forty years exposing children and adults alike to greater risks of allergies. Such findings by the nutrition network are indicators of the fresh research the network can contribute to this complex field.

According to experts, fully one third of children and approximately half of the European population will be allergic to one thing or another by 2015. It is widely accepted that an unfortunate combination of hereditary and environmental factors contribute to the development of allergies and asthma. However, a sharp increase in the number of cases has lead researchers to believe that something more than genetics is at play. 

Alliant will promote kids' Allegra in U.S.

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sanofi U.S. firm Alliant said Monday it has signed a deal with Sanofi-aventis to co-promote allergy drug Allegra in the United States.

Under the terms of the pact Alliant will promote Allegra Oral Suspension to pediatric and pediatric sub-specialty physicians.

"Our core mission is to provide pediatricians with alternatives that meet the unique needs of their patients," said Alliant President Mark Pugh.

Air Force allergy doctors win FIT competition

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researchLACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, Texas (AFPN) -- A 59th Medical Wing allergy team won the 15th Annual American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Fellows-in-Training Bowl held Nov. 6 in Philadelphia.

Allergy specialists Maj. (Dr.) Stephen Scranton and Capt. (Dr.) Chris Calabria, with the 759th Medical Operations Squadron at Wilford Hall Medical Center at Lackland AFB, Texas, beat out 21 teams from top allergy fellowship programs across the nation in the academic competition.

"It was an honor to represent the Allergy Program and Wilford Hall in this competition," Captain Calabria said. "Our win is a testament to the great program that our current and prior WHMC staff members have created."

Allergies on the increase

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peanutsAbout 2.2 million school-aged children, or 4 percent of U.S. students, have food allergies, and 3.3 million Americans of all ages are allergic to peanuts or tree nuts, according to the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network.

But that number is rising rapidly. According to one study, reports FAAN, peanut allergies among young children doubled between 1997 and 2002.

Such allergies often carry the risk of anaphylaxis, a life-threatening reaction that can cause someone to stop breathing.

Allergist Jerry Shier says that he knows of no proven cause for the rise in food allergies in recent years, but says the best explanation for the increase is the "hygiene hypothesis."

ga2lenGA²LEN welcomes the vote of the European Parliament on the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) on 30 November that acknowledges allergic diseases as major chronic diseases to be addressed in European research during the coming 7 years (2007 - 2013).

The European Parliament adopted the report of Prof. Jerzy Buzek that recognises “respiratory diseases including those induced by allergies” as health priorities to be addressed by translational research. This will allow respiratory allergic diseases (including asthma) to be covered by the research programme under the health theme.


In the first drafts, only food allergies (8% of all allergies) were covered. Allergic diseases will now be tackled under both the health and food themes of the research programme which should allow scientists to progress towards the overall understanding that is needed to help control this epidemic through effective prevention and treatment.

Vietnam study probes the role of gut worms in allergies

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medical researchGut parasites could hold the key to increasingly common conditions such as eczema, asthma and hay fever, according to scientists at The University of Nottingham.

Gut parasites, such as hookworm, have evolved together with their human hosts for millions of years. Over time, these parasites have developed ways of surviving in the human gut by 'turning down' the immune response directed against them, prolonging their survival inside the host.

This reduction in immune response may also have the effect of reducing allergic tissue reactions that characterise asthma and other allergic conditions.