Thursday, May 17, 2012

Low Dose Allergen Immunotherapy (LDA): The Allergy Treatment of the Future – Here Now


Low Dose Allergen Immunotherapy (LDA):
The Allergy Treatment of the Future – Here Now

W.A. Shrader, Jr., MD, FAAEM

What is LDA?
Low dose allergen immunotherapy (LDA) is a unique method of immunotherapy, far different from other allergy treatments currently available. It has been employed to treat multiple conditions and appears to be a long-lasting treatment option for allergy and many autoimmune illnesses. It has also been employed for many conditions not generally assumed to be due to any type of allergy or autoimmune disease.

History of LDA
LDA is patterned after enzyme potentiated desensitization (EPD), developed by the brilliant clinical and academic allergist Leonard M. McEwen, MD, in England in the mid-1960s.1-9 The method involves desensitization with combinations of a wide variety of extremely low-dose allergens (10−14 to approximately 10−6, or 1 part in 10 million to as low as 1 part in 1 quadrillion). These allergens are given with the enzyme beta-glucuronidase. The beta-glucuronidase acts as a lymphokine, a substance that potentiates the immunizing ability of the allergens. EPD appears to specifically induce the production of activated T-regulator (Treg) cells, once known as T-suppressor cells, which can live in the circulation for many years.

I published my own EPD study in 1993 after 2 years of administration of EPD to 134 patients in my office.14 As a result of the impressive improvement of most of those patients, I became enthusiastic about EPD and approached Dr. McEwen with the idea of doing a much larger study. He was enthusiastic.

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