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New Treatment for Psoriasis Works Well

Compound targets immune cells in skin

MONDAY, Dec. 2, 2002 (HealthDayNews) -- A new therapy that targets immune cells in the skin may offer another choice for people with psoriasis.

That's the finding of a new study in the January issue of Nature Medicine.

European researchers say this treatment seems to work as well as the current therapies for psoriasis, which is an autoimmune disease that causes skin rashes and lesions.

The study included 20 people with moderate to severe psoriasis. They injected themselves with a compound called interleukin-4, which affects specific types of immune cells in the skin.

The people in the study were compared to people with psoriasis who received photochemotherapy, considered to be one of the best current treatments for psoriasis. Photochemotherapy uses ultraviolet light in combination with the drug psoralen.

The study found the overall effectiveness of the interleukin-4 was comparable to that of photochemotherapy.

After their treatment with interleukin-4, 18 people in the study group remained stable or their psoriasis continued to improve when they received other treatments that had been ineffective for them previously.

About 7 million Americans have psoriasis, and about a quarter of those have moderate to severe cases of the disease.

More information

Here's where you can learn more about psoriasis.

SOURCE: Nature Research Journals, news release, Dec. 1, 2002
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