Quarterly Newsletter - October 2023 - Issue No. 20
Welcome to the most recent issue of the Global Psoriasis Atlas (GPA) newsletter. In preparation for World Psoriasis Day on the 29th of October, GPA Programme Manager, Rebekah Swan, and Administrator, Jade Kelly, have been engaged with the translation of our website into Arabic, enhancing the global accessibility of our data. The GPA team recently returned from the 32nd Congress of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV), hosted in Berlin. Dr Alison Wright delivered a poster presentation examining the patterns and clusters of comorbidities in people with psoriasis and the GPA team convened its Steering, Governors’, and Industry Funders' meetings on the 14th of October.
The GPA has established a model for other ILDS-linked dermatology atlases. These include the Global Atopic Dermatitis Atlas, the Vitiligo Atlas, and the Hidradenitis Suppurativa Atlas. During the EADV Congress, the ILDS organised a Joint Atlas meeting, which served as a valuable forum for the discussion of collaborative initiatives and congruent objectives.
In early October, we were delighted to extend a warm welcome to Dr Ahmad Aalemi as the latest addition to our team. Dr Aalemi brings a wealth of experience as a dermatologist and epidemiologist, having previously worked at the Kabul University of Medical Sciences in Afghanistan. In his new capacity, Ahmad will serve as a researcher for the GPA in Manchester. Conversely, GPA Administrator, Jade Kelly, is embarking on a new role within The University of Manchester. I would like to take this opportunity to express my thanks for Jade's contributions to the GPA over the past five years and extend my wishes for her continued success in the next phase of her career.
Below, you can read more about our ongoing research collaborations, recent publications, and any upcoming activities of note. The next time I write to you will be in January when we will have returned from our SKINSCAPE skin disease survey in the Eastern Cape hosted by Professor Ncoza Dlova in December 2023. I anticipate sharing plenty of important data on psoriasis and other skin diseases, generated by the SKINSCAPE team, with you. While it may be somewhat premature, I wish you a happy holiday season and a restorative and well-deserved break for all.
With my best wishes,
Professor Darren Ashcroft
GPA Research Director
It was a pleasure to meet face-to-face with so many of our collaborators at the EADV Congress in Berlin earlier this month. We presented several of our study findings at the Congress and continued to develop our plans for new work that we will take forward over the next three years. This includes our field study to the East Cape of South Africa which we will be undertaking in December. Over the last year, we have been working very closely with Professor Ncoza Dlova (our Regional Coordinator for Africa) on this initiative, and we secured our ethical approval for the field study recently.
At the Congress, presentations reported on the work we have recently completed with Jaquelini Barboza da Silva (IPC Visiting Fellow) examining the lived experience of psoriasis in Brazil, as well as our work examining clustering of co-morbidities in people with psoriasis. Alongside this, we have had some new papers published since my last research update, including our findings examining the risk of serious infection and infection mortality in patients with psoriasis involving a nationwide cohort study using the Taiwan National Health Insurance claims database: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jdv.19466. This study included 185,434 people with psoriasis and 1,112,581 matched comparators. We observed a higher rate of serious infection in people with psoriasis compared to the matched comparators without psoriasis, and the risk was enhanced when individuals had moderate-to-severe psoriasis.
We are also working very closely with Professor Wayne Gulliver (our Regional Coordinator for North America) and we look forward to presenting new findings from a cohort study examining the epidemiology of psoriasis in Newfoundland in the near future too.
Welcoming Dr Ahmad Aalemi
Dr Ahmad Aalemi originates from Afghanistan and was awarded a fellowship by the Institute of International Education’s Scholar Rescue Fund (IIE-SRF). The IIE-SRF assists scholars who are facing threats in their home countries to relocate to places where they may continue to carry out their research and teaching in safety. The University of Manchester partnered with the IIE-SRF to provide matched funding and host Dr Aalemi for a two-year fellowship. We are very pleased to welcome Ahmad to the GPA team where he will be working closely with Dr Alison Wright to examine comorbidities in people with psoriasis.
Saying Goodbye to GPA Administrator, Jade Kelly
Jade Kelly has been an invaluable member of the GPA team, offering expert administrative support since 2018. Many of you have collaborated with Jade on various GPA initiatives, including patient stories, quotes, and newsletter pieces. Her enthusiasm shone through as she managed our social media platforms and website and provided meticulous travel and logistics support for numerous GPA studies, meetings, and events. We are thrilled to share that Jade has secured a well-deserved full-time administrative role at the University of Manchester. We want to take this moment to extend our warmest wishes for her continued success in all her future endeavours. 🌟
Arabic Website Translation
The GPA website and all accompanying resources have been translated into Arabic and are available to access here: https://www.globalpsoriasisatlas.org/ar/
Thank you to Oras Alabas and Ireny Iskandar for their comprehensive assistance during the translation process.
The Arabic translation launched on World Psoriasis Day.
Examining Psoriasis in Indigenous Groups in Brazil
Professor Griffiths and Professor Ashcroft have been working with GPA Regional Coordinator, Professor Ricardo Romiti, to write up the findings from his research into psoriasis and atopic dermatitis in Indigenous groups in Brazil. The first paper was published in the British Journal of Dermatology and no cases of either psoriasis or atopic dermatitis were found. However, the dataset for the second publication is considerably larger and shows that psoriasis and atopic dermatitis appear when the population becomes more urbanised.
An Update on Progress in Colombia
In Colombia, work continues to obtain new data on drug survival. With a focus on specialised clinics dedicated to patients with immune-mediated skin diseases who need biologic therapy. Proudly, the Colombian psoriasis group (COLPSOR) has just launched the 3rd version of a diploma in psoriasis, with 80 students enrolled. This milestone reaffirms the commitment to education and advancing treatment options for skin diseases.
Dr Juan Raul Castro Ayarza on behalf of GPA National Coordinator, César Gonzalez
The Eastern Cape is an under-resourced province in South Africa where little is known about the prevalence of skin disease. The University of Manchester team’s ethics application has now been approved and planning is well underway to conduct a cross-sectional skin disease survey in collaboration with GPA Regional Coordinator, Professor Ncoza Dlova, and Global Atopic Dermatitis Atlas Director, Professor Carsten Flohr, in December 2023. The survey will take place in Mtyolo and Mdolomba and will be the first formal collaboration between the Global Psoriasis Atlas and the Global Atopic Dermatitis Atlas. This important work will generate the first-ever skin disease estimates in the region.
Chris Griffiths, Darren Ashcroft, Rebekah Swan, and Alison Wright, attended the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology Congress in Berlin. The GPA held fruitful meetings with its Steering Committee, Board, and Funders on Saturday 18th October. Professor Griffiths provided an update on the SKINSCAPE project, Professor Ashcroft presented a comprehensive research update, Rebekah covered communications and marketing and Dr Alison Wright presented an overview of her work examining clustering of comorbidities in people with psoriasis.
GPA Board of Governors, Berlin 2023
Joint Atlas Meeting
The ILDS recently orchestrated a gathering of the various skin disease atlases (Psoriasis, Hidradenitis Suppurativa, Vitiligo, and Atopic Dermatitis), during the EADV meeting in Berlin. This meeting served as a platform for Atlas leaders to exchange updates and future strategies and was attended by Professors Ashcroft and Griffiths. Professor Ashcroft showcased the GPA's impactful work during the session. In the future, the ILDS aims to enhance collaborative efforts among these atlases, focusing on joint initiatives and fundraising support. Exciting times ahead for global skin health initiatives!
ILDS Joint Atlas Meeting, Berlin 2023
Philippine Psoriasis Registry
GPA Regional Coordinator, Vermen Verallo-Rowell, is the chair for the Philippine Psoriasis Registry which is a study aimed at collating real-world data on the demographics, as well as the experiences of Filipino psoriasis patients. This will be valuable for the future of psoriasis patients in the Philippines in terms of health care and economic policies. A cluster survey of 780 psoriasis patients across the Philippines has been completed and the manuscript is currently being prepared for publication. These patients will be included in the Philippine National Psoriasis Registry.
- American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting – 8th-12th March 2024, San Diego, California