Individuals with rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis have the same hand function reductions, as per the latest study. Researchers who were part of the study also discovered that psoriasis alone produces comparable hand impairment. This study featured in the ACR Open Rheumatology journal raises some questions regarding the connections between arthritis and psoriasis.
The effects of the rheumatology diseases, namely rheumatoid arthritis and PsA, on people’s physical functioning are well-documented. Anyhow, not much is known about how the hand function loss in RA patients relates to the same issue in other conditions, as per the researchers.
They said that inflammatory arthritis effects on the function of hands have primarily been researched in rheumatoid arthritis. They also asserted that the pieces of research that compare the function of the body part in psoriatic arthritis and rheumatology arthritis are few and far between.
Therefore, the researchers evaluated the hand function of RA and PsA patients simultaneously, by examining objective measures of strength, plus patients’ hand function perceptions. Besides the aforesaid measures in the two conditions, the study authors compared these through healthy controls.
Around 300 patients participated in this study, out of which 101 were RA patients, 106 were put in the ‘non-arthritic controls’ group, and the rest were PsA patients. The non-arthritic group comprised 55 people from a healthy control group as well as 51 psoriasis patients.
Every patient participant was assessed with numerous measures. Their isometric grip strengths were measured with a handgrip dynamometer. Their motor skills were assessed with the so-called Moberg-Picking-Up Test. Researchers also checked the time the participants needed to put 12 things from a piece of furniture into a container. Finally, they were told to rate individual hand function with a purpose-built questionnaire. While the information was taken for each patient’s right and left hands, the researchers noticed which one was their dominant hand.
Then, they discovered that age, hand dominance, disease group, and sex had an effect on hand function. Anyhow, RA and psoriatic arthritis seemed to have comparable effects on it, and it affected women more than men with both health conditions.
The psoriasis patients showed no clinical sign of PsA, but their hands functioned comparably to those with the other rheumatology diseases. The researchers involved in the study stated that the above discovery indicates that people with psoriasis show a phenotype similar to a functional form of arthritis.