Capstone #5: Answering my Main Inquiry Question

When it came to answering my main inquiry question I was excited and nervous. I was excited because I was almost done with my Capstone, but I was nervous because what if I didn’t have enough information? I decided I would just start with what I had. I went over all my notes from my interview and started typing. I found that answering my main inquiry was really easy. After proofing it a million times I realized it was kind of short. Mrs. Edwards told me that I can add some of my opinion to make it longer. After adding my opinion, I was confident it was long enough. I asked Mrs. Edwards to read it and comment and she did. The only things she commented on were unclear sentences. After fixing it, I had my answer to my main inquiry question,   “What are some of the top treatments for people with allergies, and what are some treatments allergists are considering?”  I came up with my answer by combining the answers to my sub questions.

Some of the top treatments for people with allergies are: Oral Immunotherapy (OIT), the peanut patch, and baked goods therapy. OIT is when you take a small portion of the allergen and you slowly make the portion bigger until you can eat a serving size. OIT is a top treatment because it can cure the patient. The peanut patch is a patch that has peanut protein in it because people are only allergic to the protein not the whole thing. The patch slowly releases the protein and your immune system slowly gets used to it. The peanut patch is a top treatment even though it can’t cure the patient because the most peanuts eaten with it is four. This is amazing because now kids with food allergies can eat food with a peanut warning. Doctors see potential in the peanut patch. The baked goods therapy is a treatment that builds up the immune system through eating baked egg.The baked goods therapy is a top treatment because when kids with egg allergies keep eating the baked goods, their immune system will slowly tolerate the egg. I think the top treatments are interesting because they’re all different. This could mean there are different ways to cure allergies.

Looking back to my interview something the person I interviewed said that surprised me was that some allergists don’t believe in a cure for allergies, except that with OIT and the baked goods challenge, kids with allergies have been cured. Another thing that surprised me is that doctors are still doing double blind studies. A double blind study is when there are two cards on a table, one placebo group which does not get medicine and one treatment group. The patient then walks in and picks a card, and neither the doctor nor the patient knows which card the patient has chosen. This is why it’s called double blind. This surprised me because these top treatments and many others can cure kids, but doctors still have a placebo group when those children could get cured.

Some treatments in the works are a peanut vaccine that can cure peanut allergies. Another treatment allergists are considering is adding Xolair to OIT. Xolair is a medicine for people with asthma. They think it will make the OIT safer, especially with milk. A third treatment, that also includes  Xolair, is a treatment called Chinese herbal therapy. In Chinese herbal therapy you take 30 pills a day, 10 at every meal. Unlike most treatments that try to train your immune system, the pills try to change your memory cells that are saying not to eat it. The Chinese herbal is only for people with multiple allergies. I learned that in the Chinese herbal challenge, Dr. Lin (a doctor on the team) believes there should be no placebo because she wants all patients to be treated and possibly cured. The data from her most recent study shows that the treatment works.

I was surprised to learn that allergists are working so hard, but only targeting their research to specific allergy treatments. This is confusing because all the smart people on staff at Mount Sinai could make something humongous and unique, but instead they’re just working on a few treatments. This has pros and cons. The pros are the allergists will focus on one treatment and they can monitor and alter it. The cons are that they are focusing only on one treatment so there will be fewer treatments.

Overall, I learned a lot about allergies and treatments. I was happy I answered my main inquiry question which shows my research paid off.

One thought on “Capstone #5: Answering my Main Inquiry Question”

  1. It is clear that you learned a lot during the course of your Capstone project, Ben. I learned a lot as a result of reading this post. Thank you! Well done, Ben!

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