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Children’s to begin clinical trials, research on childhood food allergies

By: Wendy Corona

Updated: Oct 16, 2018 - 6:12 PM

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - For the first time, an Atlanta hospital will conduct research and clinical trials on childhood food allergies. 

Channel 2's Wendy Corona visited the new Center for Advanced Pediatrics at Children's Hospital of Atlanta, where clinical trials are set to start next month.

Dr. Brian Vickery, the director of the Emory University and CHOA Food Allergy program, said about 8 percent of children have a food allergy, which is a big public health problem. Some of these allergies can be so severe they are life-threatening. 

"This is a condition that touches schools, day cares, families, communities in lots of different ways," Vickery said. "So there’s a real importance in trying to understand the problem better and to develop new treatments." Clinical trials will aim to not only help identify allergies, but treat them.

Corona talked to Amy Cornelius, whose 3-year-old son Joseph is allergic to dairy, eggs, coconut, sesame, pistachios and peanuts. She told Corona that parents of children with food allergies never get a day off. "People just don't understand that a cheese stick, gold fish, is arsenic to my child," Cornelius said. 

Vickery hopes the new trials will help parents to better manage their children's allergies. "Living with food allergies is quite a burden so anything we can do to lessen that burden for families is well worth it," Vickery said. Cornelius said her family is healthier and closer since learning about Joseph's food allergies. She said the new clinic is life-changing for her family."I told Dr. Vickery that this is the first time we've had hope," Cornelius said.

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