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 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
A 2016 review of four studies found that people with psoriasis develop Parkinson’s disease
Study authors concluded that the connection might be due to common genetic susceptibility or immune mechanisms between the two conditions.
A 2017 review found that the risk of stroke was
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
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
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 U.S. nationwide
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
According to a
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 pain||– anticonvulsants and antidepressants|
– nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs)
– physical therapy
– keto diet
– electrical stimulation
|migraine||– pain relievers |
– migraine medications to manage symptoms
|Parkinson’s disease||– medication|
– physical therapy
|schizophrenia||– antipsychotic medications|
– psychosocial treatment, like therapy or social skills training
|stroke||– emergency treatment|
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.