Around 2-3% of the population suffer from psoriasis, a chronic inflammatory skin disease. It often follows an intermittent course associated with severe itching. © RFBSIP/stock.adobe.com

Around 2-3% of the population suffer from psoriasis, a chronic inflammatory skin disease. It often follows an intermittent course associated with severe itching. © RFBSIP/stock.adobe.com

Expectation-induced improvement in the treatment outcome of psoriasis patients in terms of pain, itching and quality of life.

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Psoriasis is a hereditary, non-contagious, chronic inflammatory skin disease, which can also affect the joints in the form of arthritis. It severely impairs the quality of life of those affected. Studies suggest that factors such as stress or anxiety can influence the course of inflammatory skin diseases and the development of itching and pain. Can positive patient expectations be selectively induced and then used to relieve the symptoms and reduce the required dose of medication?

Research summary

Expectation-induced improvement in the treatment outcome of psoriasis patients in terms of pain, itching and quality of life

This proof-of-concept study will systematically modulate psoriasis patient expectations of treatment with the anti-IL-17 monoclonal antibody secukinumab. The objective is to increase the efficacy of the treatment and at the same time reduce the dose of the medication at a subjective (particularly itching, pain and quality of life) and physiological level (particularly the severity of the skin lesions).

Recommended reading:

Goebel MU, Meykadeh N, Kou W, Schedlowski M, Hengge UR (2008) Behavioral conditioning of antihistamine effects in patients with allergic rhinitis. Psychother Psychosom 77:227-234. PubMed

Hadamitzky M, Lückemann L, Pacheco-Lopez G, Schedlowski M (2019) Pavlovian conditioning of immunological and neuroendocrine functions. Physiol Rev 100(1):357-405. PubMed 

Sondermann W, Schreiber A, Körber A, Fiege O, Scherbaum N, Benson S, Schedlowski M (2020) Psychosocial burden and body mass index are associated with dermatology-related quality of life in psoriasis patients. Eur J Dermatol 30(2):140-147. doi: 10.1684/ejd.2020.3755.PMID: 32538356. PubMed

In close cooperation with these projects

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Does anxiety intensify the discontinuation symptoms of antidepressants?

Prof. Dr. Yvonne Nestoriuc
Prof. Dr. Tilo Kircher

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Project Lead

Prof. Dr. Manfred Schedlowski

Prof. Dr. Manfred Schedlowski
Psychologist

Dr. Wiebke Sondermann

Dr. Wiebke Sondermann
Dermatologist

Team

Stefanie Hölsken
Psychologist, PhD Student

Dr. Frederik Krefting
Clinician Scientist, Dermatology Registrar