Our Funds at Work
Cheryl Rosen, MD., University Health Network, Toronto, ON.
Psoriasis is a common skin disease that affects 2-3% of people in North America. People with psoriasis may have a poor quality of life and can feel stigmatized by the condition. A third of people with psoriasis develop a specific arthritis called psoriatic arthritis (PsA), usually a few years after the onset of psoriasis. The development of PsA is a source of additional morbidity due to joint and back pain, stiffness, fatigue, joint
deformities and limitation of functional ability. Early diagnosis and treatment of PsA may relieve symptoms and prevent damage and functional limitation. However, making the diagnosis of PsA is difficult and requires evaluation by a rheumatologist. Since it is impractical for rheumatologists to evaluate all patients with psoriasis,
identifying a marker for PsA in the blood will greatly help to identify patients with PsA among patients with psoriasis, and may identify people with psoriasis who are at increased risk of developing PsA. We therefore propose to test the blood of patients with psoriasis without arthritis, patients with psoriasis and PsA and normal subjects for a set of carefully selected markers related to inflammation, bone and cartilage damage and repair, which we believe are important in psoriasis and PsA. Our analysis will identify markers for the development of PsA in patients with psoriasis. We then plan to further test markers identified in this study in a larger multicentre study.
Once proven to be useful, these markers will help in the early diagnosis of PsA, thus improvingthe quality of life of patients with psoriasis.
Peer-reviewed publications supported by the Canadian Dermatology Foundation
Lefebvre DL, Rosen CF. Regulation of SNARK activity in response to cellular stresses. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1724:71-85, 2005.