Frequently Asked Questions

What is psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a common, chronic, potentially disfiguring disease that affects more than 1.8 million people in the UK and over 100 million worldwide. Psoriasis can occur on any area of the body, at any age. It most commonly affects the scalp, knees, elbows and torso and is equally common in men and women.

Are there different types of psoriasis?

Psoriasis occurs in different forms. The most common form is plaque psoriasis which develops in around 90% of people with psoriasis. Other forms of psoriasis also exist: guttate, inverse, pustular and erythrodermic psoriasis.

Can psoriasis occur at any age?

There are two age ranges when psoriasis typically develops

  • Early onset or Type I psoriasis which develops before the age of 40. This often develops into severe disease
  • Late onset or Type II psoriasis which develops after the age of 40

These are genetically distinct diseases and this has implications on which treatment should be used for each group of patients.

Is there a cure for psoriasis?

There is no cure, but many different treatments, both topical (on the skin) and systemic (throughout the body), can clear psoriasis for periods of time. People often need to try out different treatments before they find one that works for them.

How will I know what treatments are best for me?

Every individual is different which means that the treatment of psoriasis can be a process of trial and error. Many people are able to find a treatment or combination of treatments which work well for them.

PSORT researchers are working to eliminate the need for trial and error prescribing.

How can I get involved in psoriasis research?

There are two main ways in which patients can become involved in psoriasis research:

  1. Actively taking part in clinical research trials for psoriasis
  2. Participating in research user groups which help to inform future research into psoriasis

What is stratified medicine?

Stratified medicine is based on identifying subgroups of patients with distinct mechanisms of disease, or particular responses to treatments. This will enable us to identify and develop treatments that are effective for specific groups of patients.

The aim of stratified medicine is to ensure that the right patient gets the right treatment at the right time.

How might the research being done by PSORT help psoriasis suffers?

The research being done under the PSORT umbrella will help to stratify or group patients according to the mechanisms of disease or their response to treatment.  If clinicians can predict patient responses to individual therapies, they could then personalise treatments for each patient which could lead to better outcomes.

Is PSORT involved in assessing the financial impact of psoriasis?

The Health Economics expertise within PSORT will help us to specifically address the incremental costs and benefits of a personalised approach to the management of psoriasis.

What is the algorithm to be developed by the PSORT programme?

The algorithm to be developed by PSORT is a tool to help predict patient response to treatment.  This is expected to help clinicians to determine and prescribe the most appropriate treatment option for each patient.

It is hoped that the algorithm might be used for other similar conditions.

What is the British Association of Dermatologists Biologics and Immunomodulators Register (BADBIR)?

BADBIR is a UK and Eire observational study, based at the University of Manchester. Its network seeks to assess the long-term safety of biologic treatments for psoriasis and encompasses all major dermatology centres in the UK.

With over 150 hospital sites across the UK and Eire taking part in BADBIR by recruiting participants to join the Register, this has created (arguably) the world’s leading safety registry for patients receiving biologic drugs for psoriasis.

Once a patient has joined BADBIR, they are followed via their dermatologist as BADBIR assesses their clinical details.

How is PSORT involved with the British Association of Dermatologists Biologics and Immunomodulators Register (BADBIR)?

PSORT is at the centre of BADBIR. Its research teams use BADBIR data to assess demographic and/or disease specific characteristics for their ability to predict response to various biologics. The PSORT health economics team have also used BADBIR data to determine the current factors that influence the choice of biologic therapy.