Psoriasis Cure Now Launches Online Volunteer Center to Mobilize Psoriasis Community

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"Psoriasis Cure Now," a nonprofit patient advocacy group, has launched its online volunteer center to mobilize the psoriasis community from coast to coast. By answering a few questions, people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, and those who care about them, can add themselves to Psoriasis Cure Now's volunteer database to be contacted only when a project meets their specifications, no matter his or her location or limited time available.

"Psoriasis Cure Now," a nonprofit patient advocacy group, has launched its online volunteer center to mobilize the psoriasis community, which is scattered across the nation. By answering a few questions, people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, and those who care about them, can add themselves to Psoriasis Cure Now's volunteer database to be contacted only when a project meets their specifications. The volunteer center is on the web here: http://www.psoriasis-cure-now.org/volunteer.php .

"Whether someone has one hour a year to contribute, or 100 hours, our online volunteer center will enable us to mobilize talented individuals from Honolulu to Nantucket," said Michael Paranzino, president of Psoriasis Cure Now. "This online questionnaire makes every volunteer, no matter his or her location or limited time available, a valuable addition to the battle for a psoriasis cure."

Psoriasis is an incurable, recurring disease of the immune system that can first strike at any age, causing dry, painful skin lesions that can crack, bleed and itch. In many cases, people also experience pain, stiffness and swelling in the joints (psoriatic arthritis). Recent studies have found a higher risk of heart attack and higher incidence of cardiovascular death among patients with severe psoriasis. Children with psoriasis report impairment in their quality of life that equals the impairment reported by children with other chronic illnesses including asthma, epilepsy and diabetes. Studies in adults have produced similar results, with a 1999 study finding that "Patients with psoriasis reported reduction in physical functioning and mental functioning comparable to that seen in cancer, arthritis, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, and depression." People with psoriasis also have higher rates of depression and suicidal ideation.

This year, the federal government plans to spend about one dollar in psoriasis research for each American with the disease, which equals two percent of the amount the last Congress had originally set aside for the Bridge to Nowhere.

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MICHAEL PARANZINO
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