Psoriasis patients suffer from great discomfort and difficulty with their skin condition. But now there may be a promising new treatment option.
Psoriasis is arguably the most common skin condition in the United States today. It is difficult to treat, because it is an autoimmune disease where the body attacks its own tissues. The immune system attacks the skin causing cells to produce faster than they normally should. But new research shows that a possible cure is linked to a tiny piece of genetic material in patients’ cells.
Fox explains the study and its results...
“Researchers found that blocking a type of genetic material called micro-RNA lowered the inflammation. A drug that could be made from this compound is years away from being commercially available, the researchers said, and it is not clear whether the experiments in mice will translate to people. Still, the findings suggest that there are several mechanisms to target the disease, as well as shed light on the role of micro-RNA in health.”
Experts have had difficulty trying to decipher the cause of psoriasis. But thanks to this new study they think they have put the pieces of the puzzle together. Scientists find that the disease is probably genetically related.
The disease is characterized by itchy rashes, flaky skin and can be painful. Fox explains how the condition can possibly be treated, “The condition can be treated with steroid ointments, light therapy and immune suppressants, but there's no cure. In the new study, researchers looked at a way to target one type of RNA which is similar to DNA, and can also carry genetic information called micro-RNA, which is a shorter-than-usual piece of RNA that biologists think regulates genes' expression. Micro-RNAs link up with other RNAs and can make them produce or stop producing certain proteins. A compound called antagomir can block a micro-RNA called miR-21 from linking with and regulating other RNAs. When the miR-21 is blocked with antagomir, the inflammation of psoriasis seems to slow down.”