Posts Tagged ‘Nickel Allergy Cure’

More progress towards a nickel allergy cure!

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

An exciting break-through has been announced in the quest for a nickel allergy cure.  Researchers, this time in the United States, have found that applying nano-particles to the skin of mice blocks the entry of nickel into the body (they must have activated the TLR4 receptors in mice, see the post below).  Developing these particles and adding them to a cream could potentially work in humans (no testing on humans has been conducted yet).

However, this would be more of a cure for people that work in a nickel heavy environment, like a battery manufacturing plant or a metal foundry.  It may not be as convenient for people that do not work in such environments.  For instance, it would not help at all for earrings that contain nickel, and it could prove cumbersome to have to apply, and re-apply, a cream just to wear necklaces, bracelets or belts that contain nickel.  Even with the cream it will probably be easier to shop nickel free.

It does show that progress is being made (and someone is actually working on a nickel allergy cure!) so stay tuned for further developments :) .

Getting closer to a nickel allergy cure?

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

Researchers in Germany have made a major breakthrough in the work towards an eventual cure for nickel allergy.  The exact mechanism that causes nickel allergy has been a mystery until now.  German scientists have discovered that a specific receptor, called a “TLR4”, sends out a distress signal as soon as it comes in contact with nickel.

Why is this important?  Now that a specific pathway has been discovered research can focus on blocking that specific immune response, it is no longer a “moving target”.  In addition, research has always been hindered by the fact that mice are NOT allergic to nickel so they were useless as test subjects.  Now that researchers know which protein sequences act as the alarm bell they have been able to turn this on in mice.  Now that mice can be made allergic to nickel research on cures can be accelerated.

Another benefit would come from the fact that nickel allergy has a genetic “foot-print”.  Since there is a specific genetic pathway that causes nickel allergy there could soon be a genetic test available.  Imagine knowing your child is allergic to nickel before becoming exposed to nickel and creating a permanent nickel allergy response!

If you want to read more about this exciting discovery click here.