There may be a new path to relief for cat-owners who are allergic to their pets. The Asthma and Allergy Center is Bellevue is one of 77 sites testing the new treatment.
According to Dr. G. Daniel Brooks with the center, the traditional immunotherapy involves weekly shots for about 6 months. He says the new treatment being tested involves monthly shots over a course of about 8 months.
Dr. Brooks says it's "very common" for people to own cats while also being allergic to the animal. He says many suffer from "Thanksgiving Syndrome" - a term coined by allergists describing young adults who grew up with cats only to return home from college for the first time with a sudden allergic reaction to the family cat. Others simply chose to have a cat despite knowing the allergy is there. He says, "It is a very sad situation for those people and they often know the cat is making them sick."
It's unknown how effective the new treatment could be in helping cat allergy sufferers. If it works as intended, Dr. Brooks says, "It's definitely going to be more convenient, so if it's just as effective it'll make it more convenient, especially if their main allergen is cat."
The study needs participants age 12 to 65. They must live with a cat and have a diagnosed allergy to the animal. If you're interested in learning more, visit the CATALYST study page.