Senior Honors Theses

Publication Date

Spring 5-5-2015

School

School of Nursing

Major

Nursing (B.S.N.)

Keywords

peanut allergies, peanuts, immunotherapy, nut allergies, pediatrics

Disciplines

Allergy and Immunology | Biological Phenomena, Cell Phenomena, and Immunity | Maternal, Child Health and Neonatal Nursing | Medical Immunology | Medical Nutrition | Pediatric Nursing | Public Health and Community Nursing

Abstract

Peanut allergies are a serious issue that must be monitored and treated effectively to avoid severe adverse effects and death. In the last decade, their incidence has increased significantly, due to indeterminate factors. Because people typically do not outgrow peanut allergies and the effects of exposure can be life-threatening, it is important that a cure or management method is developed and refined. Recent research regarding treatment for peanut allergies has focused on the use of immunotherapy, a process aimed at desensitizing children's immune systems so that they do not reject foods that contain peanuts. Some studies utilizing immunotherapy have provided positive findings, while others show less promising results. Working within the limitations imposed by safety concerns, researchers are seeking to find a reliable treatment that can be utilized in more cases, whether it is through oral, sublingual, or subcutaneous immunotherapy. Since those with peanut allergies are gradually composing a larger percentage of the population, this area of research is relevant and could prove beneficial in improving and saving the lives of many individuals.