Two new studies about psoriatic arthritis in the news this week. The first study looked at a high incidence of autoantibodies to proteosomes in psoriatic arthritis patients. Proteosomes are small intracellular structures involved in protein recycling, breaking down old proteins into amino acid building blocks so that they can be used to manufacture new proteins. The autoantibodies called anti-20s were even more elevated in systemic lupus erythematosus patients, so they were not specific for psoriatic arthritis, although they were relatively rare in rheumatoid arthritis patients and may help in differentiating these two diseases.
The other study showed a link between psoriatic arthritis and atherosclerosis. They looked at the thickness of the blood vessel walls in the carotid arteries and found that they were thicker in patients with psoriatic arthritis than in control patients. I think this one once again confirms that patients with psoriasis (or in this case, psoriatic arthritis) need to have very thorough physical exams and medical follow up with their primary care physicians to look for associated medical problems.