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Clinical Trials Offer Hope for People Who Need Treatment for Psoriasis

ON JANUARY 10, 2014 by Samuel Lederma

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The skin is the largest organ of the body, one that covers the very top of your head right down to your tiniest toe. Sadly, millions of Americans each year suffer from skin diseases like acne, dermatitis, and even psoriasis—a genetic disease that causes excess skin tissue to build up, resulting in flaky and itchy patches of skin. Far from being just a cosmetic concern, this dermatological condition has also been linked to the development of other, more serious diseases. CBSNews.com writes that:

Living with psoriasis can be difficult enough, but new research suggests sufferers may be at a higher risk for other serious diseases affecting vital organs like the heart, lungs and kidneys.

University of Pennsylvania researchers have found that compared to patients without psoriasis, people with the inflammatory skin condition were at risk of having at least one additional major medical disease, with risk increasing based on the severity of psoriasis...

The new study involved more than 9,000 people with psoriasis -- more than half had mild disease, 36 percent had moderate cases and 12 percent had severe disease affecting more than 10 percent of their skin's surface area.

They found psoriasis raised risk for all sorts of diseases, including chronic pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes, mild liver disease, heart attacks, peripheral vascular disease, peptic ulcers, kidney disease and other rheumatologic diseases like arthritis.

The researchers believe that psoriasis causes systemic inflammation in the body, a factor that triggers the onset of the above-mentioned diseases. Unfortunately for the 7.5 million Americans who have psoriasis, the efficacy of common medications TNF blockers can wane over time. For example, almost half of patients who take adalimumab develop antibodies against it within the first 24 weeks of treatment.

When standard medication is no longer effective, people can enroll in clinical trials where a new treatment for psoriasis is being studied. Just to give a backgrounder, clinical trials are conducted in the latter part of medical research to gauge a new drug or procedure’s efficacy on human volunteers. While there are risks involved when volunteering for a clinical trial, it grants access to medications or treatments that are currently unavailable anywhere else—drugs that can potentially alleviate psoriasis symptoms in people who no longer respond to TNFs.

What’s more, clinical trials seek to discover cures for all sorts of ailments. For instance, Altus Research in Florida studies uterine fibroid treatment aside from experimental psoriasis drugs. With the help of clinical trials, novel ways of treating old diseases are uncovered, benefitting both the volunteers and patients around the world.

(Article Information and Image from Psoriasis may raise risk for diseases of heart, lungs, kidneys, CBSNews.com, August 07, 2013)

CATEGORY: Industry News