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AAD: Presentation Focuses on Psoriasis as a Serious Disease

Baylor University expert discusses links with other conditions, effective biologic treatments

FRIDAY, March 5 (HealthDay News) -- Psoriasis needs to be considered a complex, serious, and systemic condition that significantly affects quality of life, according to a presentation this week at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology, held from March 5 to 9 in Miami Beach, Fla.

Alan Menter, M.D., chair of the Psoriasis Research Unit at Baylor Research Institute in Dallas, discussed the discovery of psoriasis-related genes; the association between psoriasis and other conditions such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and lymphoma, obesity and metabolic syndrome, sleep apnea, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and depression; and quality-of-life issues such as stress, anxiety, low self-esteem, and increased use of alcohol and tobacco.

Menter also discussed the benefits and risks of newer biologic agents such as adalimumab, etanercept and infliximab; and the most recently approved biologic agent -- ustekinumab -- which has been shown to improve sexual dysfunction in patients with moderate to severe psoriasis.

"Although psoriasis is an incurable disease, it is controllable in the majority of cases with proper treatment," Menter said in a statement. "Over the past several years, there have been a number of newer therapies introduced that are effective in managing psoriasis, and a patient's dermatologist can determine which therapy would work best to control each patient's disease."

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