RESEARCH

Neurodermatitis is a challenge all over the world – not only for those affected and their families, but for the entire health care system. In Switzerland, 5–8% of adults and 15–20% of babies and children are affected, making it the most common chronic inflammatory skin disease, especially among children. Similarly, high figures are also found in other countries in Europe and in the United States of America. In Asia, the number of people affected is even higher. As recently determined by the WHO, in sub-Saharan Africa, neurodermatitis is the most chronic non-infectious inflammatory skin disease.

According to scientific findings, neurodermatitis is considered the underlying disease for the potential development of additional allergies. With neurodermatitis, the skin barrier is damaged, paving the way for increased sensitivity and ultimately allergies caused by environmental factors such as pollen, moulds, food, or dust mites. Based on this, the aim of CK-CARE is to understand neurodermatitis in order to develop new therapies and, particularly, preventive measures to thereby mitigate the growing incidence of allergies.

Since mid-2017, CK-CARE research has been developing one of the largest international neurodermatitis and allergy registers (database and biobank). In the coming years, the focus will be on detailed analysis of bio-samples and data points. To this end bio-samples are analysed using the latest biomedical methods and the results are linked to the extensive collection of patient data, which includes information of their environments. This is only possible with the help of bioinformatics and biostatistical methods. Network analyses will then work out new target structures for therapy and prevention. This will allow for the development of sustainable changes to the lives of children and adults with neurodermatitis and allergies.