Psoriatic arthritis is a condition that is closely linked to the skin disorder psoriasis. People who have psoriasis have a 39 times greater risk of developing psoriatic arthritis. It is important to note that even those with mild psoriasis are still at risk. Early diagnosis is key as it can help prevent long-term disabilities related to the condition.
To diagnose psoriatic arthritis, doctors may use a five-question Psoriasis Epidemiology Screening Tool (PEST) which is available on the GRAPPA app. The Psoriatic Arthritis Impact of Disease (PsAID) Questionnaire is also available which consists of 12 questions. If a patient has a certain score, it will alert the doctor that the case is not controlled and they should refer the patient to a rheumatologist.
Currently, there are several medications available to treat psoriatic arthritis, such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha inhibitors, Interleukin inhibitors, and JAK inhibitors. There is also evidence that taking medication can help prevent psoriatic arthritis from getting worse.
Mount Sinai recently started a program that integrates psoriatic disease screening tools into electronic medical records (EMRs). This makes it easier for doctors to detect psoriatic arthritis and refer patients to a rheumatologist. They are also assessing how well this system works by measuring the percentage of cases seen.
Advancements in medications are also being made. Deucravacitinib is a newer FDA-approved drug for psoriasis, and bimekizumab, an oral medication that clears skin for three years, is in clinical trials. Adalimumab (Humira) will be available in generic form in 2023.
Overall, it is important for people to be aware that psoriasis is much more than a skin disorder. Screening and early diagnosis can help prevent lasting damage and complications. It is also important to note that many treatments are expensive and may not be accessible to people with supplemental insurance.