Friday, November 20, 2009

Psoriasis in Eur-Asia

Today we hosted about 40 physicians from Europe, Asia, and Australia on the Baylor University Medical Center campus in the second part of the 2009 Psoriasis Forum sponsored by International Psoriasis Council. The event is coordinated by Dr. Alan Menter of Texas Dermatology in Dallas, Texas.

This two day event began with an introduction of the concept of psoriasis being a systemic disease - concentrating on metabolic syndrome (heart disease, liver disease, etc), joint disease, and the basics of systemic drug treatment. This afternoon I gave a review on "Biologic Drug Treatment in Psoriasis" followed by Dr. Caitrina Ryan from Dublin, Ireland who spoke on ustekinumab and other research drugs focusing on the IL-12/IL-23 pathway.

Tomorrow we invite patients to tell the story of the impact of the disease on their life. These emotional narratives really bring home the message of how devastating psoriasis can be on quality of life. Modern pharmaceutical therapy will allow most patients to enjoy life, many for the first time. One particular patient will tell the story of being kicked out of a public swimming pool at the age of eleven. He was thought to have something contagious and dangerous for those around him. We've come along way in taking away the stigma of the disease, particularly now that patients can access effective treatments.

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