Good news for the approximately two million Americans with psoriatic arthritis (PsA). Those with active disease now have two new treatment options: the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in December approved both ixekizumab (Taltz) and tofacitinib (Xeljanz) for the treatment of PsA.
Physicians will soon have a new guideline for the management of psoriatic arthritis (PsA). This ambitious undertaking, the details of which were presented recently at the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Annual Meeting, involved a large panel of experts who analyzed and synthesized the best available evidence to create and support the recommendations.
The proposed guideline – which contains approximately 80 recommendations – will undergo final review prior to consideration for publication in 2018 in the journals Arthritis Care & Research and Arthritis & Rheumatism. It will help rheumatologists select treatments for their psoriatic arthritis patients based on the best available evidence, especially in light of all the new treatments recently approved for PsA by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Keep up-to-date on the latest psoriatic arthritis (PsA) research with our brief research summaries.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the biologic drug abatacept (Orencia) to treat psoriatic arthritis (PsA) in adults. It’s already approved for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and for one subtype of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA).
Abatacept is a biologic medication that works by targeting T-lymphocytes (T cells), immune cells that are overproduced in people with inflammatory arthritis. The drug, technically called a “selective costimulation modulator,” attaches to the surface of the cells, preventing them from communicating with other cells and producing chemicals that can lead to joint damage and symptoms like pain and swelling. It’s given as a monthly infusion or weekly injection.
Doctors have long known that heart disease is more common in people who have inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and psoriasis. But they weren’t sure if this applied to psoriatic arthritis (PsA), which is more complex and not nearly as well studied. Then, in 2016, Canadian researchers published a meta-analysis of studies evaluating cardiovascular disease risk and PsA in the journal Arthritis Care & Research. The results suggested that people with PsA were 43 percent more likely to have or develop heart disease compared with the general population. PsA patients also had a 22 percent increased risk of cerebrovascular disease – conditions such as stroke that affect blood flow to the brain.
Continue reading Heart Disease Risk May be Nearly Doubled in People with Psoriatic Arthritis
People with psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and those with severe psoriasis are at higher risk than the general population for a type of fracture typically associated with osteoporosis, according to a new study published online in January 2017 in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. In fact, the increase in risk for these two groups is comparable or even higher than that of people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a group known to have higher than average risks of osteoporosis and fracture related to low bone mineral density.
Continue reading Psoriatic Arthritis, Psoriasis May Raise Your Fracture Risk
People with ankylosing spondylitis or psoriatic arthritis who take cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins seem to live longer than people who don’t take them, according to researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. They presented their findings recently at the American College of Rheumatology’s 2016 Annual Meeting.
In a previous study, Massachusetts General researchers found that people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who took statins lived longer, and they wanted to know if the drugs would offer a similar benefit to patients with other types of inflammatory arthritis, such as ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and psoriatic arthritis (PsA). AS mainly affects the spine, especially the sacroiliac joint where the spine meets the pelvis. PsA affects joints as well as skin.
Continue reading Statins May Cut Death Risk in Those with Psoriatic Arthritis & Ankylosing Spondylitis
Wednesday, September 28, 2016 is the first-ever nationwide Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA) Awareness Day, enacted to raise awareness of the painful inflammatory disease that may develop in conjunction with psoriasis. Approximately 30% of people with psoriasis, the skin disease that causes dryness, itchiness or scaly rashes, also develop psoriatic arthritis, which can affect the entire body and may lead to permanent joint and tissue damage if not identified and treated early and aggressively.
Currently, more than one million Americans live with PsA, although this number may be higher, as the disease may be underreported. Continue reading September 28th Marks the First Annual Psoriatic Arthritis Awareness Day
People with psoriatic arthritis (PsA) are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) compared with people who don’t have PsA, according to a meta-analysis published in the April issue of Arthritis Care and Research. Lead investigator Lihi Eder, MD, PhD, says the study is among the first to quantify the relationship between heart disease and psoriatic arthritis – a form of inflammatory arthritis that usually develops in people who have the skin disease psoriasis.
Continue reading Psoriatic Arthritis May Raise Cardiovascular Disease Risk
The symptoms of psoriatic arthritis (PsA) are usually quite visible – painful, swollen joints, skin reactions and fatigue. Less apparent, but just as impactful, is the emotional toll the disease can take.
“They tell me that it’s taxing,” Julie Nelligan, PhD, a Portland Oregon-based psychologist, says of her psoriatic arthritis patients. “They may say things like, ‘Nobody understands me, I feel like I’m not contributing. I’m lonely, I’m anxious because I don’t know when I can get things done and I can’t commit to doing things,’” she adds.
Living with a disease that has both subtle and obvious symptoms can be a double-edged sword. When you don’t have any noticeable skin lesions, friends and family might not realize how much pain you’re in, and fail to take your illness seriously.
Continue reading The Emotional Toll of Psoriatic Arthritis