Early, Aggressive Treatment May Help Reduce Symptoms And Improve Joint Function In Psoriatic Arthritis PsA
Medications or biologic agents that target T-cells, white blood cells involved in the body's immune system, appear to offer significant benefit to patients suffering from psoriatic arthritis (PsA), a type of arthritis that affects up to 48 percent of patients with the skin disease psoriasis, according to a new review article in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS). About 7.5 million Americans - roughly 2.2 percent of the population - have psoriasis, an autoimmune disease that causes red, flaky skin. "Although these new immunosuppressive agents are expensive, they are the only agents that have demonstrated a decrease in radiologic progression of peripheral arthritis, and can be used to manage associated types of inflammation, as well as skin and nail disease, " said lead study author Michael S.
About 300 000 Swedes suffer from the difficult to treat disease, which manifests itself in scaly and often itchy patches on the skin. The reason is that cells divide without restraint as new blood vessels form in the deeper layers of the skin. An important component is the psoriasin protein (S100A7), which are abundant in psoriasis-affected skin but rarely in normal skin. The same protein is also assumed to be a factor in the development of breast cancer. The research team, led by associate professor Charlotta EnerbĂ ck, have now illustrated that, in a study on cultured skin cells, the interaction between psoriasin, oxygen free radicals and vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGF) leads to significantly increased cell division and growth of new blood vessels (angiogenesis). When we blocked the formation of psoriasin, the expression of VEGF also decreased.
The most poisonous substance on Earth - already used medically in small doses to treat certain nerve disorders and facial wrinkles - could be re-engineered for an expanded role in helping millions of people with rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, psoriasis and other diseases, scientists are reporting. Their study appears in ACS' journal Biochemistry. Edwin Chapman and colleagues explain that toxins, or poisons, produced by Clostridium botulinum bacteria, cause of a rare but severe form of food poisoning, are the most powerful toxins known to science. Doctors can inject small doses, however, to block the release of the neurotransmitters, or chemical messengers, that transmit signals from one nerve cell to another. The toxins break down a protein in nerve cells that mediates the release of neurotransmitters, disrupting nerve signals that cause pain, muscle spasms and other symptoms in certain diseases.
Scientists have found that a strain of yeast implicated in inflammatory skin conditions, including eczema, can be killed by certain peptides and could potentially provide a new treatment for these debilitating skin conditions. This research is published in the Society for Applied Microbiology's journal, Letters in Applied Microbiology. 20% of children in the UK suffer from atopic eczema and whilst this usually clears up in adolescence, 7% of adults will continue to suffer throughout their lifetime. Furthermore, this type of eczema, characterized by dry, itchy, flaking skin, is increasing in prevalence. Whilst the cause of eczema remains unknown, one known trigger factor is the yeast Malassezia sympodialis. This strain of yeast is one of the most common skin yeasts in both healthy individuals and those suffering from eczema.
Scientists in Sweden have discovered certain peptides kill off the yeast Malassezia sympodialis which can trigger skin disorders such as atopic eczema, seborrhoeic eczema, and dandruff, without harming healthy skin cells. While further work is needed to clarify the underlying mechanisms, they hope their discovery will lead to a new treatment for these debilitating skin conditions. The study is the work of Tina Holm and her colleagues at Stockholm University and Karolinska Institute, and was published online in the journal Letters in Applied Microbiology on 21 November. Holm told the press: "Many questions remain to be solved before these peptides can be used in humans. However, the appealing combination of being toxic to the yeast at low concentrations whilst sparing human cells makes them very promising as antifungal agents.