Background Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an immune-mediated, demyelinating disease of the central nervous system.1 Although severe psoriasis and psoriasiform dermatitis have been noted in MS patients, the prevalence of psoriasis in these populations is uncertain and has not been explored in the Australian population.
Objectives A pilot study to estimate the prevalence of psoriasis in MS cohorts in the Australian population.
Methods A survey was conducted on 82 MS patients aged 18 and above who attended MS clinics in 2018.
Results Data was recorded for 82 patients. The mean age was 48 years for the entire cohort and 48.0 years (SD ±11.30) for patients diagnosed with psoriasis. The observed prevalence of psoriasis in MS patients was 12.19% however, the true prevalence is likely to be much higher as various symptoms of psoriasis were reported by a much larger proportion of MS patients. Of the 72 cases without psoriasis, various skin symptoms that were reported were intermittent irritation (for at least 6 months) or erythematous rash (35.4%), seasonal skin changes (39.0%) and thickened scaly skin behind ears and scalps (18.3%). Moreover, 18.3% had flaky, peeling or scaly skin while 24.4% experienced dandruff; 17.1% reported nail changes, and 13.4% reported a family history of psoriasis. The study also showed that combined psoriasis and eczema was relatively common at 3.7%.
Conclusions In this pilot study there is a high prevalence of psoriasis in patients with MS suggesting an immunopathological association between the two diseases and indicates that further studies should be done to elucidate common mechanisms,and the nature of this phenotype.
Montalban X, Tintore M, Swanton J, Barkhof F, Fazekas F, Filippi M, et al. MRI criteria for MS in patients with clinically isolated syndromes. Neurology 2010;74(5):427–34.
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