Investigating the role of central nervous system pain in psoriatic arthritis

Disease - Psoriatic arthritis, fibromyalgia

Lead applicant - Dr Neil Basu

Organisation - University of Glasgow

Type of grant - Clinical Studies

Status of grant - Active

Amount of the original award - £209,335

Start date - 3 January 2019

Reference - 21964

Public Summary

What are the aims of this research?

Many people with psoriatic arthritis continue to experience persistent pain even after receiving effective treatments to reduce inflammation and other associated symptoms. The researchers believe that a type of pain originating in the central nervous system could play a role in contributing to pain in psoriatic arthritis, and this type of pain could respond to different treatments.

Why is this research important?

Currently, people with psoriatic arthritis do not receive adequate pain relief. The researchers believe this is due to the co-existence of different types of pain. As well as peripheral type pain (e.g. inflammation), it is also likely that pain originating in the central nervous system is involved. This type of centralised pain is associated with fibromyalgia. Research into this area could lead to a better understanding of psoriatic arthritis and challenge the view that pain in psoriatic arthritis is only caused by peripheral joint inflammation and damage.

This study will use a UK psoriatic arthritis register to answer whether co-existing fibromyalgia could predict lack of response to anti-inflammatory treatment in psoriatic arthritis. They will also include 50 psoriatic arthritis patients who are due to change therapy to gather information on pain sensitivity and pain processing. The researchers will make comparisons between this group, healthy individuals and patients with fibromyalgia.

How will the findings benefit patients?

If the research demonstrates that centralised pain is playing a role in this condition, it will support doctors to choose the most appropriate treatment for their patients. In future, this study has the potential to provide a clinical assessment tool that could be used to guide the management of pain in psoriatic arthritis and could ultimately lead to better treatment outcomes for patients.