Psoriatic arthritis, is an inflammatory form of arthritis associated with psoriasis and includes many manifestations such as skin psoriasis, nail lesions, dactylitis, and enthesitis. Symptoms include pain, swelling and redness over the affected jo...
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Sherry Damatarca: If you have itchy skin and aching joints, you might have a condition known as Psoriatic Arthritis. There are treatment available that are bringing relief to Canadians suffering from this little-known condition. After years of living with debilitating pain, Karen Fenner is grateful to have her life back. Karen Fenner: About nine years ago, I stuck my toe really bad while I was vacuuming. After a couple of weeks, it wasn't going away. So I went to the hospital to get X-rays and it just -- they said, there was nothing wrong. I was unable to go up and down stairs. I couldn't do anything, it was very depressing. Sherry Damatarca: For months, Karen was prescribed various anti-inflammatory treatments, but it wasn't until she went to get a refill for one of her medications and asked her doctor to also refill her Psoriasis medication that her doctor made the connection. Karen Fenner: It was almost like you could see the penny drop, you could see -- it just clicked with her, she said, I know what you have, you have Psoriatic Arthritis. Sherry Damatarca: Up to 30% of people with Psoriasis will also get Psoriatic Arthritis. Karen was eventually referred to Psoriatic Arthritis Specialist, Dr. Dafna Gladman. Dr. Dafna Gladman: Psoriatic Arthritis is an inflammatory form of arthritis associated with Psoriasis, begins with pains, swelling and redness over the affected joints and it may lead to damage. Since psoriatic arthritis includes many manifestations including skin psoriasis, nail lesions, ductilities and anthracites, it is important to look after the whole patient. Rheumatologists and dermatologists from all over the world got together to form GRAPPA, Group for Research and Assessment of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis, and they proposed recommendations for the treatment of these patients. The recommendations are, that for each patient, the most appropriate medication for the most severe aspect of the disease we used in order to prevent inflammation and progression of joint damage, the best way to treat patients with psoriatic arthritis is to treat them early and to use a biologic agent, so that we can control the inflammation and prevent the damage. Karen Fenner: After trying many different anti-inflammatories, Dr. Gladman said that I might be a good candidate for a new study for a drug called Remicade. I went for my first infusion and within about 2 or 3 days, my husband said, is that my imagination or you're walking better? Within about two weeks, I was able to run up and down the stairs, and it was like I never had it. This year, I'm turning 49 and I just feel so much better than I did when I was 39. Remicade has completely changed my life. My daughter has her mother back, my husband has his wife back and I have my life back and the future is looking pretty good. Sherry Damatarca: Speak to your doctor to learn more about symptoms associated with psoriatic arthritis and treatment options, Sherry Damatarca reporting.

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