Psoriatic Arthritis is defined as an inflammatory condition of the joints (arthritis) associated with Psoriasis. Since in these cases, usually the rheumatoid factor test is negative, Psoriatic Arthritis is called as a sero-negative arthritis. Practically, in addition of all the symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis, Psoriatic Arthritis also has psoriasis.
Psoriatic Arthritis is an autoimmune disease and it affects the ligaments, tendons, fascia, and joints. Psoriasis is an obstinate skin condition in which red patches of various sizes develop on the skin that is covered with dry, silvery scales.
Approximately 40% of patients with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis have a family history of these disorders in first-degree relatives. Psoriatic arthritis is associated with an increased frequency of HLA-B7. Psoriatic arthritis may be triggered by pro-inflammatory cytokines such as Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a) and Interleukin IL-1, IL-6, Il-2 and IL-8.
The conventional treatment of psoriatic arthritis consists of Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID’s) They do not modify the course of the disease, nor do they prevent erosions, but they are effective to relieve pain and stiffness.
Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARD’s) such as Methotrexate and Cyclosporine.
Methotrexate is effective both for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. One has to take folic acid supplements along with it to safe guard the liver. One requires frequent monitoring of liver function tests, while on Methotrexate.
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