Largest single collection of psoriasis DNA samples offers hope to sufferers

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Washington, Sep 2 (ANI): People suffering with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis have come one step closer to a cure with the release of the first National Psoriasis Victor Henschel BioBank DNA samples for use in research at the University of Michigan Health System.

The research hopes to uncover the unknowns about the genetics of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

"Because we will be studying many thousands of genes, and because the genetic differences that predispose people to psoriasis can be subtle, this type of research requires thousands of cases and controls to yield statistically significant results. That's why the large number of Biobank samples is so important," said Dr. James T. Elder.

In the past few years, new discoveries into the hereditary factors of psoriasis have been unveiled.

The National Psoriasis Victor Henschel BioBank is a collection of DNA samples and clinical information used by scientists to advance the field of psoriasis genetics-to fill the gap between what is known about psoriasis genetics and what's not.

The researchers received the first 1,250 BioBank DNA samples today.

They will use the samples to identify new genes that increase a person's risk factor for developing psoriasis, and examine the connection between psoriasis and other autoimmune diseases, such as Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

Additional BioBank DNA samples will be given to Elder in the coming months.

"It's also very important that the diagnosis of psoriasis is definite, especially when it comes to psoriatic arthritis. The Biobank patients have all been carefully examined by dermatologists and rheumatologists, and provide an outstanding clinical resource," added Elder.

The National Psoriasis Victor Henschel BioBank is a collection of DNA samples and clinical information used by scientists to advance the field of psoriasis genetics.

Once completed, it will be the largest single collection of psoriasis DNA samples in the world.

"The BioBank is a critical resource for bringing us one step closer to a cure for psoriasis, and we are honoured to partner with Dr. Elder and his team on this landmark project. This endeavour would not be possible without the hundreds of people with and without psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis who donated DNA over the past four years, and we thank all of them for their huge contribution to psoriasis research," said Rick Seiden, chair of the National Psoriasis Foundation Board of Trustees. (ANI)

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