THE PALMITOYLETHANOLAMIDE FAMILY: A NEW TREATMENT CHOICE FOR ATOPIC DERMATITIS?

In the Journal American Acad. Dermatology (march 2005) an abstract was published on the value of palmitoylethanolamide in chronic atopica eczema by Dr. Joseph Jorizzo, MD, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem,
NC. It said:

1. In Atopic dermatitis or ecema inflammatiojn in the skin is a central problem: A number of immunoregulatory abnormalities are known to play a role in the pathogenesis of atopic dermatitis (AD), including increased IgE synthesis, increased histamine release from basophils, impaired delayed-type hypersensitivity re- sponse, and elevated levels of cytokines. For example, overproduction of interleukin 4 (IL-4) in AD patients is thought to be critical in AD pathogenesis.

2. For the time being corticosteroids are all we have, however, corticosteroids have a lots of drawbacks: “The cornerstone of AD treatment has been corticosteroids because corticosteroid therapy provides an effective way to combat the overactive inflammatory system. However, corticosteroids can have unacceptable side effects and are used on a short- term basis and intermittently on a long-term basis. These side effects are especially of concern in children, who represent the majority of the AD patient population.”

Thus, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory treatment option for AD patients would be a great benefit.

3. Palmitoylethanolamide is a promising alternative: “PEA, also known as N-palmitoylethanolamide, is an endogenous anti- inflammatory compound found in skin and other tissues and would provide an alternative treatment to corticosteroid treatment of AD. PEA accumulates during inflammation, and several studies have reported PEA-induced anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects in clinically relevant animal models of inflammatory pain. In addition, PEA is known to control the inflammation and proliferation of tumor cells,10 to down-regulate IL-4 in human blood monocytes,11 and to inhibit cyclooxygenase activity and free radical production in a rat model of carrageenan-induced acute paw inflammation.”

And the author concludes:

PEA has been the subject of several AD pilot studies. Promising preliminary results from the AD studies indicate that PEA is an important compound and should be considered for the treatment of AD patients

2005-THE PALMITOYLETHANOLAMIDE FAMILY- A NEW TREATMENT CHOICE FOR ATOPIC DERMATITIS?

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