Saturday, August 29, 2009

Allergy Shots to Lymph Nodes: A new approach

Allergy shots also called immunotherapy were once considered as the last resort and were lesser preferred treatment for allergic disorders like allergic rhinitis and asthma symptoms. Allergen immunotherapy is a form of treatment aimed at decreasing your sensitivity to substances that cause allergic attack. These substances are called allergens.Allergy testing is done to identify the offending allergens. Vaccine is prepared against these allergens.Allergy shots are prepaired for the offending allergens and give to the patient so that he may develop tolerance to those allergens. Allergen immunotherapy thus desensitize the body to specific allergens. Vaccine is given mainly by subcutaneous route in gradually increasing doses. Body responds by developing an immunity or tolerance to the allergens.As a result of these immune changes, immunotherapy can lead to decreased, minimal or no allergy symptoms when you are exposed to the allergens included in the allergy vaccine.The traditional route of allergy shots is subcutaneous route. The newer route is sublingual route. But scientists at Switzerland's University Hospital Zurich have patented a new route in which allergy shots are given directly to lymph nodes.Researchers report that news in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that allergy shots given directly to the lymph nodes may bring quicker allergy relief than traditional allergy shots. The study was done on 183 adults with hay fever, splitting the patients into two groups.One group of patients got three allergy shots to their lymph nodes over two months (one shot at the study's start, a second shot four weeks later, and the third shot eight weeks into the study).Patients in the other group got traditional immunotherapy, consisting of 54 under-the-skin (subcutaneous) allergy shots spread over three years.The main advantages with the lymph node route are:Milder allergic reactions to the shotsQuicker improvement in tolerance to their allergenLess use of "rescue" medicines to relieve allergy or asthma symptoms.Three years later, the lymph node shots hadn't worn off, though patients in both groups reported similar degrees of improvement in their allergy symptoms.People might be more willing to get lymph node shots because fewer shots are required and they are "practically painless," write the researchers, who included Thomas Kundig, MD, of Switzerland's University Hospital Zurich.The journal notes that Kundig is the inventor named for intralymphatic immunotherapy (the lymph node shots) on a patent owned by the University of Zurich.--asthma symptomsAsthma DiagnosisSource:

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