Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition in which skin is characterised by itchy scales, inflammation and redness. It usually occurs on the scalp, knees, elbows, hands, and feet. It is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects around 2% of the UK population.

In this disease, immune cells in the blood attack newly produced skin cells. This causes the overproduction of new skin cells beneath the surface of the skin which triggers the symptoms of psoriasis.

There are many factors that are involved in this complex condition. Reseach strongly suggests that genetics play a role in the development of psoriasis. Indeed, having a family member with psoriasis increases the risk of developint it. The genetic basis of psoriasis is supported by association studies with human leucocyte antigens (HLAs), genome-wide linkage scans, and candidate gene studies within and outside the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) region.

Although a few genes involved in the immune system function have been identified as potential factors (such as HLA-Cw6), it seems like this is a multigenomic condition (more than 60 disease susceptibility genetic regions identified) and the link isn’t fully understood yet. 

Each type of psoriasis may involve changes in a number of genes. In addition, some genetic changes may be present across various types of psoriasis. One gene can also have a range of variants. Changes in the HLA complex may increase the risk of psoriatic arthritis. This gene group plays a role in distinguishing between foreign invaders and body tissue.

Other contributing factors to psoriasis can be stress, smoking, obesity, cold and dry weather, HIV infection, drugs (beta-clockers, antimalarials), alcohol, withadrawal of corticosteroids, injury & mechanical trauma, and streptococcal infections.

Lifecode Gx

'It is also apparent that there is considerable overlap between the molecular pathways that are involved in psoriasis and those that lead to other inflammatory or autoimmune diseases in humans.’ (AlShobaili et al., 2010)

Although we don’t test for specific psoriasis genes, we test for several genes involved in the immune system function and inflammation such as HLA-DQA1, HLA-DQB1, CTLA4, IL6 and TNF. Variants on these genes increase the risk of developing autoimmune conditions such as psoriasis. We test for these genes in our Thyroid Balance Report

If you are a health practitioner and want to use nutrigenomics in your practice, you can register with us as a Lifecode Gx practitioner. Practitioners who fully integrate nutrigenomics into their practice find that client engagement improves along with clinical outcomes. We offer a range of nutrigenomics training opportunities presented live online and recorded, from short ‘snapshots’ (which are free of charge), and case studies, to practitioner 'masterclass' events which are priced according to the number of CPD approved hours. Access to live and recorded events is via our Crowdcast channel or Vimeo.

If you are not a health practitioner, know that our tests are available from registered health professionals who are experienced in using nutrigenomics testing. If you are not working with a practitioner, we offer packages which include testing and support including our Core Package. You can find practitioners experienced in the use of Lifecode Gx DNA tests and reports having completed our Nutrigenomics Practitioner Programme here.

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