Volunteers sought for psoriasis study

If you are an adult interested in participating in a research project on Psoriasis, a Massey University researcher would be thankful for your support.

PhD student Michelle Ingram is in need of 12 more persons to progress with her study on the effects of Vitamin D on the disease.

She has thus far enrolled 100 Auckland-based psoriasis sufferers aged 18 or older, with plaque-type psoriasis in ‘active phase’ and stable for the past two months.

Volunteers must meet certain criteria and be able to attend five appointments at the Albany-based Human Nutrition Research Unit for assessments and samples over a one-year period.

They do not require a doctor’s referral and will be screened by a dermatologist before acceptance.

Lottery Health Research is funding the Massey University managed study.

Ms Ingram is investigating the benefits of taking vitamin D supplements in the treatment of psoriasis, which is a chronic, non-contagious inflammatory disease of the skin.

The Vitamin D Research Centre at the Institute of Food, Nutrition and Human Health, forms part of Massey’s new College of Health, which was formally opened last month.

It will focus on illness and injury prevention rather than cure.

Plaque-based psoriasis is the most common type, and while it can be managed, there is no known cure, Ms Ingram said.

“Anyone can have psoriasis. It is not restricted to any ethnicity or age group.”

It is understood that one in 50 adults in New Zealand live with the condition.

“Traditional treatment of psoriasis includes topical lotions, creams, pills or injections, or phototherapy which uses light to treat the condition. They can be inconvenient, expensive, and increase the risk of other health problems,” Ms Ingram said.

She said that determining the benefits of Vitamin D supplements could provide another option for treating Psoriasis.

The University will bring together specialists from fields ranging from food and nutrition, sport and exercise, rehabilitation, nursing, Māori and Pasifika health, public health, social work, health and safety, as well as researching the social and economic factors that underpin health and wellbeing.

For further information and registration, visit http://psoriasis.massey.ac.nz

Email: m.ingram@massey.ac.nz

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