A new study plans to explore the link between psoriasis and the development of rheumatoid arthritis later in life. Psoriasis is a skin condition with no cure that causes a rash with scaly, itchy patches that are most commonly on the elbows, knees, scalp and trunk. Research has found that roughly one-third of patients with this condition are likely to develop arthritis as they grow older.
The objective of the study, which will be carried out by researchers from Hippocrates, will be focused on discovering common factors between individuals who developed psoriatic arthritis later in life.
While more than 600,000 individuals in the United Kingdom suffer from psoriatic arthritis, researchers are not sure what triggers the condition. Patients living with psoriatic arthritis often present with affected joints becoming stiff, swollen and painful. Early warning signs of psoriatic arthritis include painful swelling in the fingers and toes, fatigue, eye inflammation and redness, stomach issues, changes in one’s nails, scaly patches on knees and elbows, pain in the lower back, tenderness in areas where ligaments or tendons attach to bones, joint stiffness and pain, and difficulty moving.
This condition is usually diagnosed with a physical exam conducted by one’s physician, with treatment being based on how the disease affects a patient’s life.
For their study, the researchers have recruited 2,000 individuals who have already been diagnosed with psoriasis but are yet to present with symptoms of arthritis. Each participant will be tracked for a number of years and will be required to undergo a genetic exam to identify any indicative patterns in the DNA along with regular blood tests.
Scientists hypothesize that certain genes may play a role in psoriasis development, as the illness often runs in families. Obesity and smoking have also been associated with the condition.
One of the researchers involved, Professor Laura Coates, reveals that the researchers will also investigate if an individual’s likelihood of developing arthritis is heightened if their psoriasis is severe, in comparison to those with mild symptoms. Coates, who is a rheumatologist at the University of Oxford, notes that the team will also look into whether the drugs patients use to treat psoriasis have any impact as well as the impact underlying health conditions such as depression and heart disease have.
She hopes that the team’s findings will help physicians better manage psoriatic arthritis, adding that the data may possibly also help discover treatments to stop the condition before it begins to develop.
As researchers delve into the dynamics of how psoriasis could be linked to the eventual onset of rheumatoid arthritis, there are several OTC and prescription psoriasis treatments from multiple sources such as Jupiter Wellness Inc. (NASDAQ: JUPW) that patients can make use of to improve their symptoms.
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