Because of spam, I personally moderate all comments left on my blog. However, because of health issues, I will not be able to do so in the future.

If you have a personal question about LI or any related topic you can send me an email at I will try to respond.

Otherwise, this blog is now a legacy site, meaning that I am not updating it any longer. The basic information about LI is still sound. However, product information and weblinks may be out of date.

In addition, my old website, Planet Lactose, has been taken down because of the age of the information. Unfortunately, that means links to the site on this blog will no longer work.

For quick offline reference, you can purchase Planet Lactose: The Best of the Blog as an ebook on or Almost 100,000 words on LI, allergies, milk products, milk-free products, and the genetics of intolerance, along with large helpings of the weirdness that is the Net.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Desensitization: the Hot New Word In Allergies

Desensitization. It's a big word, but you need to add it your vocabulary if you are the parents of a child allergic to dairy proteins or a number of other food proteins. Tests and trials are being conducted at a large number of the country's major medical facilities to try to reduce the sensitivity and therefore the reaction of a child to allergens. How? By exposing the child to that allergen. Carefully. With incredibly tiny and controlled dosages at first, gradually increasing in size until the day when - hopefully - the child can have the food without any worries. Some of the trials are on very young children, others on somewhat older ones.

Annie Cardi, a writer at Children's Hospital Boston, alerted me to a study they are conducting there on desensitization to milk protein. They are taping the progress of Brett, a fifth-grader and the first child to go through the program there. You can watch the video at the A cure for milk allergies? on the Children's Hospital site.

This is the first in a series of videos about Brett Nasuti, an 11-year-old Children’s Hospital Boston patient who was born allergic to 15 foods. Brett is the very first Children’s patient to go through a milk exposure desensitization trial—the first of its kind in the country—which could cure him of his severe milk allergy. In this video, you can watch Brett and his mom, Robyn, talk about what it’s been like for their family to live with his life-threatening condition and their hopes for the trial’s outcome.

Stay tuned each week to follow Brett as he goes through the study, during which he drinks more and more milk after getting injections to ward off allergic reactions. You can see him take his first-ever sip of milk and hear him talk about what it’s like to live with a life-threatening allergy. You can also watch Robyn shop for her two kids with food allergies (she cooks three different dinners each day for her family) and hear Brett’s classmates talk about what they’ve learned from him. Plus, check back to see Lynda Schneider, MD, the director of Children’s Allergy Program, discuss the shocking rise in food allergies and how this trial represents a path to a potential cure.

Also, in October, we’ll publish a story about Brett and the study in Dream, Children’s magazine for patients and families.

That first article (by Erin Graham) went up on August 25, so look for a new chapter in Brett's saga each Tuesday.

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