MeDALL, Mechanisms of the Development of Allergy: Investigation of the mechanisms of the initiation of allergic response, genetic predisposition, biomarkers and identification of targets for therapy.

The causes of allergies such as asthma and eczema are unclear. In some European countries over 50% of children suffer allergic reactions to inhalants or foods they eat. Even though most peoples’ symptoms are controlled by treatment there is a need to create preventive strategies to stop the development of these diseases in the first place. The MeDALL (Mechanisms of the Development of ALLergy) project’s overall aims are to generate new and novel knowledge about what factors cause the development of allergy from early childhood to young adulthood. Only a large study involving many different sites across Europe can overcome the limitations of current research to understand the reasons explaining the epidemic of allergic disease.

In order to acquire the amount of information needed to address this huge epidemic Born in Bradford will provide information alongside other birth cohort studies in Europe. Existing data for more than 40,000 children will be made available through the cohorts and collection of new data for 12,000 of these children and adolescents will add even more vital information. By combining birth cohorts in the study all of which are at different levels of evolution MeDALL will cover both the early onset and the late onset of allergic disease as well as the persistence of these diseases. Once a range of complex information has been collected early diagnostic tools will be developed for early detection and diagnosis of allergy as well as new treatments.