Psoriasis Treatment at Penn Medicine

Psoriasis Treatment at Penn Medicine


[♪♪♪] Joel: I have a longstanding
interest in psoriasis, really since medical school, a bit over 20 years now
I’ve been studying this disease. And I got interested
for several reasons. One was it’s a very common
condition that affects about 8 million
people in the country, over 120 million people worldwide. I felt that most of our patients
who have skin diseases were poorly understood
by their physicians and over time I came to really admire people who suffer with, you know, chronic,
incurable skin diseases, that placed
a lot of burden on them. – So, in the last 5 to 10 years, we’ve had major breakthroughs
in understanding complicated skin disorders
including psoriasis. – We have subspecialists who are
leading national experts in every subdivision
of disease category. So, we have top
psoriasis clinicians and psoriasis researchers. – It was really
poorly understood when I was getting
involved and interested in studying the disease. It was only at the beginning
of understanding that the immune system
probably played a role in why people have psoriasis
in their skin. And what my research showed
about a decade ago was that when people have
more severe psoriasis, the type of psoriasis
that requires pills or injectable medications
or photo therapy to manage, they tend to have higher
rates of cardiovascular disease, and that higher rate seems to be
related as psoriasis, not necessarily
other risk factors like smoking or being
overweight, for example. We do two types of research. One is trying to understand
that, you know, how doctors educate patients
in a real-world setting, our ability to make sure
people get the standard age-appropriate medical care because it may be better treating known risk factors
for heart problems, for example. And then the second part
of the work is understanding what we use
for our various treatments. Are we lowering the risk
for cardiovascular disease? Are we treating not just
psoriasis of the skin, but are we actually lowering
inflammation throughout the body in a way that would
lower their risk of say, having a heart attack
or a stroke. No place could be
better qualified to meet the missions of
research, patient care and education
than being in the setting of a great university like
the University of Pennsylvania.

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