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Studies Link Psoriasis to Mental Illness

Psoriasis is a chronic, inflammatory skin disease that is often coupled with depression, anxiety, and even bipolar disease, schizophrenia, and dementia, two new studies show.

Psoriasis is a chronic, inflammatory skin disease that is often coupled with depression, anxiety, and even bipolar disease, schizophrenia, and dementia, two new studies show.

What is unclear, the researchers acknowledge, is which causes which.

In the first study, Danish researchers collected data on more than 13,600 men and women with psoriasis. Over five years of follow-up, 2.6 percent developed mental problems, and over 10 years, that number rose to nearly 5 percent.

These disorders included depression, anxiety, bipolar disease, schizophrenia and dementia. The researchers speculate that since immune disorders have been linked with the development of mental problems, and psoriasis is an immune-disorder disease, it might explain the connection.

“This report is very interesting, as it denotes possible relationships to other mental disorders as well as stated mechanisms, therefore highlighting an awareness of further conditions for providers to be aware of,” said Stacie Bell, vice president of research and clinical affairs at the National Psoriasis Foundation.

In the second paper, Korean researchers looked at more than 12,700 psoriasis patients. They found that the risk for anxiety, phantom medical problems, neurotic disorders and sleep problems was doubled and tripled among psoriasis sufferers compared to those without the disease.

Read on: Studies Link Psoriasis to Mental Illness

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