Arthritis is an autoimmune condition that causes swollen and painful joints. Psoriasis is also an autoimmune condition. It causes thick scaly patches on the skin.

About 1 in 3 people who have psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis (PsA), which causes both sets of symptoms.

People with PsA have a higher risk of developing many neurological and other health conditions than the general population. This increased risk is at least partially explained due to increased levels of inflammation caused by psoriasis.

Read on to learn which neurological and other health conditions people with PsA have an elevated risk of developing.

Medical professionals used to think psoriasis was only a skin disorder, but it’s now known that it can affect many organ systems, not just the skin.

Elevated levels of inflammation can contribute to the development of neurological complications, such as:

Neuropathic pain

In a 2019 study, researchers found that 26.6 percent of a group of 64 people with PsA likely had neuropathic-like pain and 21.9 percent had possible neuropathic pain.

Neuropathic pain is often described as shooting, burning, or stabbing. It’s caused by damaged nerve fibers that send pain signals to your brain.

Chronic inflammation in people with psoriasis can lead to the release of molecules called prostaglandin E2 and prostaglandin I2, which stimulate pain receptors and lead to neuropathic pain.


The risk of developing seizures seems to be higher in people with psoriasis and in people with other autoimmune disorders that cause inflammation than in the general population.

A 2019 study found that the odds of having epilepsy were 1.9 times higher in people with psoriasis than in the general population.

Shared risk factors between seizures and psoriasis, such as diabetes, may also contribute to this connection.


In another 2019 study, researchers found that migraine occurred 1.62 times more frequently in middle-aged male participants with psoriasis than in those without psoriasis. Researchers didn’t find a significant association in female participants or other age groups.

But a 2015 study found people with psoriasis had a higher likelihood of migraine, regardless of sex. More research on this connection is needed.

Parkinson’s disease

A 2016 review of four studies found that people with psoriasis develop Parkinson’s disease 1.38 times more often than the general population. It’s thought that the increased risk comes from the chronic inflammation of neurons.


A large 2017 study involving 1 million people in Taiwan found that people with psoriasis have a 2.32 times higher risk of developing schizophrenia than the general population.

Study authors concluded that the connection might be due to common genetic susceptibility or immune mechanisms between the two conditions.


People with psoriasis and PsA have an increased risk of developing stroke and other cardiovascular diseases than the general population, according to a 2020 case report.

A 2017 review found that the risk of stroke was 22 percent higher in people with PsA than in the general population.

Psoriasis and PsA are associated with an increased risk of developing many other health conditions, such as:

Back and neck pain

Chronic back or neck pain is a common feature of PsA. Anywhere from 25 to 70 percent of people with PsA have pain in these areas, according to 2020 research.

When PsA symptoms develop in the spine and pelvis, it’s known as psoriatic spondylitis.

Uveitis and vision problems

Uveitis is inflammation of the middle layer of your eye that consists of your iris, the muscles underneath, and the tissue filled with blood vessels. It can cause eye pain, redness, and vision problems.

Research from 2019 estimates that 7 to 20 percent of people with psoriasis have uveitis. It tends to be more common among people who have both psoriasis and PsA.


Immune dysfunction seems to cause PsA, so the body’s ability to fight infection is impaired. Medications that are used to treat PsA are immune suppressants, so they can lower the body’s ability to fight infections, too.

A person with PsA may experience a flare-up of symptoms triggered by an infection due to the body’s immune response in fighting the infection.

In a 2020 study, researchers found people with psoriasis had a 36 percent higher risk of being hospitalized and a 33 percent higher risk of death from infection than the general population.

Cardiovascular disease

It’s well established that psoriasis and PsA are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Researchers have found that people with PsA had a 43 percent higher risk of cardiovascular disease than the general population.


Psoriasis is associated with a 1.27 times risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to a 2022 study.

Digestive disorders

In a U.S. nationwide 2021 study, researchers found psoriasis and PsA were associated with the development of inflammatory bowel disease, an umbrella term that includes the conditions Chron’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Researchers also found an association between psoriasis and 21 out of 23 other gastrointestinal diseases they examined, including:


People with obesity are thought to develop PsA more frequently than the general population. Decreased movement from PsA joint pain and increased inflammation in people with PsA might increase the odds of developing obesity.

Weight loss has been shown to improve PsA symptoms in people with obesity.


According to a 2020 research review, psoriasis and depression may amplify each other and share common mechanisms. Increased psoriasis severity tends to increase depression, and increased depression tends to increase psoriasis severity.

Treatment for neurological conditions varies widely depending on the condition. It’s important to regularlyl talk with your doctor to develop the best treatment plan.

Here’s a summary of some of the most common treatment options. These treatments are the same for people who have PsA and for people who don’t.

However, care needs to be taken to avoid drug interactions, since people with PsA would likely be taking medication for their PsA in addition to other conditions they may have.

neuropathic painanticonvulsants and antidepressants
nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs)
– physical therapy
seizures– anticonvulsants
keto diet
electrical stimulation
migrainepain relievers
– migraine medications to manage symptoms
Parkinson’s disease– medication
– physical therapy
– surgery
schizophreniaantipsychotic medications
– psychosocial treatment, like therapy or social skills training
strokeemergency treatment
– surgery

Psoriasis was once believed to only be a skin condition, but it’s now known that it can affect many parts of your body, such as your joints and nervous system.

Psoriasis and PsA are associated with an increased risk of neurological conditions such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, and migraine.

If you have PsA, it’s important to talk with your doctor if you notice any change in your symptoms, or if you suspect you’re developing an associated condition like uveitis.

With your doctor’s help, you can learn to manage many PsA complications and maintain a high quality of life.