New peanut allergy treatment research has local origins

New possible treatment for peanut allergies

The continuance of research about allergy drops over the years could be attributed to work done in La Crosse by Dr. Mary Morris of Allergy Associates of La Crosse (AAOL) and a researcher involved in the 2019 study, Dr. Wesley Burks.

“I had been seeing that sublingual immunotherapy worked in our patients, and I thought that this really needed to be explored in a rigorous scientific study,” Dr. Morris said. So, in 2005, Dr. Morris collaborated with Dr. Burks to share the clinical experience and dosing protocol of AAOL. By working together, they were able to get funding from NIH for an initial study. This research, including the 2019 study, has continued using the same protocol, using the clinical experience from AAOL.

Sublingual immunotherapy–allergy drops–were given to 48 participants over the course of a 3-5 year study. Less than 5% of participants reported itching and stomach discomfort, reactions that are considered minor.

“We haven’t had any life-threatening reactions to the treatment in the studies. We also have had no life-threatening reactions in our clinic for almost fifty years,” said Mary Morris, M.D.

Allergy Associates of La Crosse has been treating people with peanut allergies since 1970. Further information about the treatment is available on AAOL’s website.

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