Is a Psoriatic Arthritis Diagnostic Tool on the Horizon?
I’ve mentioned in one of my previous articles, Rheumatologist Reject, that I have had a tough time getting diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis (affectionately nicknamed PsA). This has been tough! I have had lower back pain and unexplained joint pain since I was a teenager, but because I’m missing one or two of the “classic” symptoms of PsA and am young, I have been dismissed. Instead, I have been told it is a pinched nerve or bursitis or other common problem and sent home with anti-inflammatory medication.
This has caused me to develop a reliance on over the counter pain relievers. I know that my liver and stomach are taking a beating, but it’s hard to think of the long-term effects when I am in pain in the present. Pain makes you desperate. Not having an answer for why you are having the pain compounds the misery.
Hope on the horizon
Because of all this, you can imagine that I was pretty excited when the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) announced that they are awarding specific grants to researchers in the hopes of developing a diagnostic tool for PsA within the next five years. They couldn’t say it better by explaining: “A diagnostic test will dramatically reduce the guesswork and the long delays in reaching a diagnosis and beginning treatment – delays that can cause years of pain and irreparable joint damage.”1
Can you imagine?
Think of all the joint damage that could be avoided in the future! My biggest fear is that my kids will develop psoriatic disease because of me. When I think of them having the chance of permanent joint damage because of my genes, I get sick to my stomach. THIS gives me hope for them. This is truly revolutionary. NPF saw that there are tests for other types of arthritis, but not for psoriatic arthritis, so they took the steps to change that.
Be a part of the breakthrough
You may be saying “But I’m not a researcher!”. You can still help! The grants are awarded for up to $100,000 in year 1 for proof-of-concept studies with the possibility of renewal at up to $300,000 annually in subsequent years (five years total).1 That is a lot of money. Consider donating towards this project. Did you know you can delegate where your donations go? On the Foundation’s donation page, there is a link on the left-hand side that says “Donate to Research” that offers different options to put your money towards. Bonus: NPF is a top-rated organization on Charity Navigator. That means you can have peace of mind that your money is actually being used in the way you intend it.
I completely understand we can’t all give. I just am coming out of being unemployed for the last 4 weeks, so I get it! The next best thing is to spread the word. Let everyone know high and low about this awesome initiative. Grant winners are expected to be announced this year. To find out more, visit the NPF's site.
Do you like to go pswimming with psoriasis?