Psoriatic Arthritis Research

Our scientists are working to understand psoriatic arthritis, find new treatments and find a cure

Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA) is an autoimmune form of arthritis; an estimated 30% of all psoriasis patients develop psoriatic arthritis. The symptoms of psoriatic arthritis are similar to those of three other types of arthritis: rheumatoid arthritis, gout and reactive arthritis.


Research comes from both the arthritis and dermatology fields. Genetic studies focus on what genes make psoriatic arthritis patients more likely than others to get the disease. Also, genetic changes could explain what initiates PSA. Studies of the immune system are important to understanding why, in PsA, the body attacks itself, mistaking self-tissues for antigens.

Psoriatic Arthritis Research

In a collaborative effort with the National Psoriasis Foundation, we aim to co-fund at least one research grant each year focused on psoriatic arthritis. One such study focused on why PsA patients are at higher risk for developing heart disease due to the inflammation and autoimmune response.

Get more autoimmune disease information with your free fact sheet!

Research Highlights

Genetic Variants Might Lead To The Development of Psoriatic Arthritis

Dr. J.T. Elder, from the University of Michigan, and his research team have found several target areas on the human genome that indicate involvement in psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. They have discovered that more than one gene may be involved in the development of psoriatic arthritis. To date, scientists have found about 25 genetic variants that make it more likely that someone could develop psoriatic disease. New genetic sequencing technology, like that being used by Dr. Wilson Liao at UC San Francisco and Dr. Lam “Alex” Tsoi at the University of Michigan, is allowing scientists to find rare “trigger genes” that may be the leading causes of psoriatic arthritis in many people.

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