Greetings to our friends and supporters! We are happy to present you with an update from the Center for Allergy at Assaf Harofeh (Shamir) Medical Center. Currently, we at the Center are unfortunately operating under an emergency protocol, with the continued threat of rocket attacks affecting our activities. It is our hope that very soon we will be able to fully resume our regular programs, since the challenges of food allergies do not take breaks.
While on the topic, it is important to highlight that some of these challenges also are associated with the mental well-being of food allergic patients and their caregivers. Toward that aim, we recently published a study investigating the effect of medical clowns on oral immunotherapy treatment (OIT) for food allergy, at our center. Numerous studies have demonstrated the benefits of medical clowns in children for various medical procedures. In our study as well, the children undergoing OIT with medical clown support reported better quality of life assessment, than those without medical clown support. Notably, this association did not hold for caregivers of the allergic children. Aside from the benefits of medical clowning, our study might also indicate that there are different support mechanisms needed for patients and caregivers. This is a point worthy of consideration, since successful completion of OIT depends on the cooperation of patients and their families.
Our scientific research also continues. Among our current projects is studying the differences between different types of antibodies that recognize food proteins. IgE antibodies recognize food allergens and are key players in food allergy development. However, other antibodies, especially IgA and IgG4, recognize food allergens, but are related to recovery or protection from allergy. The work is thus far preliminary, but stay tuned for a future update, where we hope to elaborate a bit more on this topic. Finally, we would like to thank you, our donors, for your continued support. In light of the pandemic this has been an exceptionally challenging year for all of us, and we greatly appreciate your generosity. With hope for better times ahead, and wishes for health and well-being to all.