Tuesday, July 01, 2008


Two stories in the NYTimes this past week, and both highlight the potential benefits of parasitic worms: their presence in the guts somehow seems to help people fight allergies -- including asthma. "Worm therapy" may take some time to get official approval, but the promising results from studies are already gaining attention:

Trial participants raved about their allergy symptoms disappearing. Word about the study soon appeared online among chronic allergy sufferers, and a Yahoo group on “helminthic therapy” sprung up. [...]

Now [Dr. David Pritchard] is recruiting patients for a larger-scale trial of the therapy, and he said he hoped to publish his results within the next year.

Some allergy sufferers cannot wait. The moderator of the Yahoo group, Jasper Lawrence, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, has started a clinic in Mexico, to offer the unproven therapy (a basic worm “inoculation” costs $3,900).


  1. Prakash said...

    Interesting how quickly people have started a 'business' around this. We will soon need a nomenclature for businesses built around fads.