Study to examine link between psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis

The research was led by UCD in collaboration with Oxford University in the UK

Max Ryan

February 23, 2024

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  • An irish-led study has aimed to develop a process to assess psoriatic arthritis risk in psoriasis patients.

    Healthcare professionals have been urged to advise psoriasis patients of the study, which is examining the association between the two conditions.

    The research will also inform wider efforts to diagnose the condition earlier or predict disease progression, to develop new diagnostic tests and to pioneer personalised therapies to avert permanent, disabling joint damage.

    A research team at University College Dublin, in partnership with the University of Oxford, has aimed to recruit 2,000 people across Ireland, out of a total of 25,000 across Europe, to the study. Psoriasis affects at least 73,000 people here, with one-third of patients going on to develop psoriatic arthritis.

    Anyone over 18 years of age who has been diagnosed with psoriasis, except those already diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, can take part in the study.

    Participants will be asked questions about their psoriasis and other medical conditions, any musculoskeletal symptoms arising, treatments they are receiving, as well as details about their lifestyle.

    The questionnaires, which will be shared with participants every six months over a three-year period, can be filled out remotely, and some respondents may be sent a home blood-sampling kit to help in the development of a tool to assess psoriatic arthritis risk.

    “By identifying biomarkers associated with psoriatic arthritis, our aim is to develop a blood test to identify it prior to the development of any symptoms. Ultimately, if we can develop ways of better identifying which patients will develop arthritis, we may be able to prevent it through risk factor modification and preventative therapies,” said Prof Oliver FitzGerald, consultant rheumatology and the study’s co-lead author.

    “Unfortunately, right now we don’t know which patients with psoriasis will go on to develop psoriatic arthritis and which will not. 

    “There is no diagnostic test or algorithm available to predict psoriatic arthritis. We know that it is important that it be recognised promptly as each day left untreated leads to poorer outcomes,” Prof Fitzgerald added.

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