What if you could prevent a rare disease from ever occurring?
It sounds too good to be true. But researchers believe that psoriatic arthritis (PsA) may be preventable in patients who are at risk due to their psoriasis diagnosis.
Similar studies have been conducted analyzing rheumatoid arthritis, but psoriatic arthritis had yet to be examined until now.
A study on this subject was completed Elder Polachek and his colleagues and the summary was recently posted on Medscape.
Over a period of 46 months, Elder and his team monitored 410 individuals who had psoriasis. Of those people, 57 developed psoriatic arthritis by the end of the study. But they didn’t do so silently. There were signs that things were progressing. It’s those signs that Elder hopes to analyze in order to figure out how to prevent psoriatic arthritis completely.
So what were some of the signs that someone was developing this rare disease?
- Heel pain
- Extreme fatigue
- Stiffness (particularly in the back)
- Joint pain (in women)
- Skin disease
Elder and his colleagues believe that there could be a link between treating the above symptoms (specifically skin disease) and prevention of the onset of psoriatic arthritis.
For some patients, these symptoms were visible up to 6 years before diagnosis.
If Elder’s theory is correct, that should be more than ample time to prevent the onset.
While nothing is definitive as of yet, this study gives us hope that this disease could be prevented in the future. Maybe soon we will start to see fewer people affected by psoriatic arthritis.