According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, allergies affect more than 50 million Americans each year. Are you one of these unlucky people? Well, good news! Researchers have discovered how a particular antibody could stop an allergic reaction – sneezes and all!
An allergic reaction occurs when your immune system overcompensates to a substance that is otherwise completely harmless. This can include milk, eggs, peanuts, fish, etc. When you are exposed to an allergen, the immune system goes into defensive overdrive and produces an excess of a particular antibody called immunoglobulin E (IgE). This large “Y” shaped molecule will attach itself to immune cells making them unable to attack and protect your immune system effectively.
The consequences of this process can range from a stuffy nose and watery eyes to extreme reactions which require medical attention. Allergy tablets are common and target these issues within your immune system, but may only lessen the severity of the symptoms. However, researchers are experimenting with targeting the IgE antibody itself, which could stop an allergic reaction (and the symptoms) in its path completely.
Scientists at Aarhus University in Denmark have discovered an anti-IgE antibody that has the potential to eliminate allergic reactions and symptoms altogether. This antibody is called 026 sdab and was originally extracted from llamas! In humans, 026 sdab prevents IgE from getting to two important immune receptors – CD23 and FceRI. By stopping this process, the allergic reaction will never happen!
This antibody hasn’t been tested in humans quite yet, but scientists have used blood samples from patients with certain allergies and watched how the antibody reacted. Results have shown that within only 15 minutes, 026 sdab reduced IgE level to 30 percent. This has created a “map”, allowing researchers to see how the antibody prevents IgE from attaching to the receptors.
It’s possible for seniors to outgrow their allergies, but there’s also a chance they may develop new allergies with age. There are various treatments that are currently available including antihistamines, decongestants, and anti-inflammatory nasal sprays. Medicare Part B may cover nebulizers and certain diagnostic tests. However, Part B won’t cover prescriptions for allergies, so a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan or Medicare Advantage should be considered.
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