Research in Manchester is making a difference to patients with psoriasis.

Our comprehensive programme of research in Manchester aims to address each aspect of this complicated disease to improve patient care. There is both a genetic and an environmental link to psoriasis.

Why have I got psoriasis?

  • Increased production of skin cells in psoriasis is caused by problems with the immune system (natural defence system)

  • Ongoing research in Manchester studies Langerhans cells – a key immune cell found in the outer layer of the skin. In the most common form of the condition (plaque psoriasis) these cells don’t function correctly and fail to move away from the outer skin layer

  • Our research aims to identify why Langerhans cells misbehave to inform the development of future treatments; some treatments can restore the normal function of these cells 

Will my children get psoriasis?

  • 1 in 3 people with psoriasis have a family history of the disease

  • Psoriasis is complex – there is no single psoriasis gene

  • Most likely that genetic susceptibility combined with a trigger (e.g. infection) activates psoriasis in an individual

  • There are nearly 70 genetic markers that increase a person’s chance of developing psoriasis

  • Research in Manchester has led the way in discovering that there is a genetic difference between early onset psoriasis (Type 1) and late onset psoriasis (Type 2)

Ongoing genetic studies at Manchester could aid the development of novel disease treatments

Clinical trials in Manchester 

  • Manchester has one of Europe’s leading dermatology clinical trials units

  • Patients take part to: 
    - Access novel treatments to improve psoriasis and other skin conditions; 
    - Test new treatments for current and future patients.

  • All new treatments for psoriasis have been trialled in research

  • Mixture of industry and academic-led, basic science and clinical studies

  • Since the unit’s inception in 1994 there have been 405 clinical studies; currently there are 11 ongoing studies in psoriasis 

What is the best treatment for me?

  • Our genes can affect how we respond to treatment

  • Loss of response to treatment and lack of diagnostic markers are major problems in treating psoriasis 

  • PSORT is a collaboration between UK universities, pharma and diagnostic companies, NHS trusts, The  Psoriasis Association and patients

  • The aim is to develop clinical tests for personalised treatment  


“Offer the right biologic treatment to the right patient at the right time”

Are new treatments safe?

  • The British Association of Dermatologists Biologic Interventions Register (BADBIR) assesses the long term safety of biologic treatments for psoriasis

  • By participating in BADBIR patients are making a valuable contribution to research and future psoriasis treatments

Aim is to gather more accurate and better quality information on safety, for patients starting biologic treatments

Brain and skin interaction 

  • Psoriasis can start or flare when people are stressed

  • Psoriasis has an impact on psychological wellbeing and can lead to distress

  • Manchester researchers are leading the way in investigating the brain-skin connection in psoriasis: 
    - How do people with psoriasis respond to emotions compared to healthy people? 
    - What is the effect of stress on the expression of certain skin genes and immune cell function?

Understanding the brain skin connection could lead to improved ways to manage psoriasis

Improving GP’s awareness of psoriasis

  • The Identification and Management of Psoriasis Associated ComorbidiTy (IMPACT) team at Manchester have found that obesity, depression and cardiovascular problems are more common in patients with psoriasis

  • Manchester’s IMPACT team has developed a training programme for GPs to enable them to work in a more targeted way with patients to: 

    - Reduce the likelihood of patients developing additional health conditions

    - Increase awareness of coping methods for patients to deal with the physical and psychological issues linked to psoriasis

What is psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory disease. It is non-contagious and is characterised by patches of red, flaky skin. The condition is unique to each individual patient- there are many different forms of psoriasis, and the amount of skin involved can range from tiny patches to extensive body coverage. Psoriasis has a genetic component, and flare-ups can be triggered by a variety of factors including stress, anxiety or an infection.

More information on psoriasis can be found on the Psoriasis Association website