Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Dr. Egeberg: Psoriasis is a common chronic skin disease, with a strong inflammatory component. Within the last decade, our understanding of psoriasis have advanced significantly, and psoriasis is now widely regarded as a systemic disease, where the skin is a direct marker of disease activity. The inflammatory pathways in psoriasis have also been implicated in several central nervous system diseases such as depression, uveitis, and multiple sclerosis. Moreover, pain generation and sensitization can occur as a result of the pro-inflammatory mediators which are upregulated in psoriasis.
In the present study, we investigated the association between psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, and the risk of new-onset migraine. The main finding was a psoriasis-severity dependent increased risk of new-onset migraine, and patients with severe skin psoriasis, and psoriatic arthritis appeared to have the highest risk.
Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Egeberg: Certain forms of migraine are associated with increased risk of stroke, and studies have shown that patients with psoriasis have increased risk of stroke. Focus on migraine in patients with psoriasis, including during cardiovascular risk assessments may be warranted.
Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Egeberg: Future studies of the cerebrovascular risk in patients with psoriasis should include migraine, and studies are warranted to examine if other central nervous system diseases occur more frequently in patients with psoriasis.
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Alexander Egeberg, MD (2015). Psoriasis Elevates Risk of Migraines