News & Events

Scientists Explore Why Some Psoriasis Patients Suffer Joint Damage

June 22, 2010

A new grant from the National Psoriasis Foundation could help University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) scientists find ways to forecast which patients with the red, flaky skin disorder are most likely to suffer from an arthritic disease that sometimes follows.

With the $200,000 grant, Christopher Ritchlin, M.D., M.P.H. and colleagues plan to spend two years following between 60 and 100 patients with both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Over that time, they'll track how popular medications (like methotrexate and newer anti-TNF drugs) affect participants' levels of DC-STAMP - a molecule that plays a role in autoimmunity and the formation of osteoclasts, or bone-absorbing cells. Ritchlin's team, in concert with URMC professor of Orthopedics Edward Schwarz, Ph.D., was the first ever to implicate DC-STAMP as a potential biomarker for any form of arthritis, igniting a blaze of similar research in the field.