There is a connection between psoriasis and certain eye conditions.
Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis can lead to inflammation of the eyes, a condition termed uveitis (pronounced ‘you-vee-EYE-tis”), a disorder that affects approximately one in 1000 Americans. A nationwide cohort study that examined nearly 147 954 Han Chinese individuals with psoriasis including more than 10,107 with concomitant psoriatic arthritis, 137 847 without psoriatic arthritis and 147 954 matched non-psoriatic controls found that there was a higher incidence of uveitis in individuals with psoriasis, irrespective of whether they had psoriatic arthritis, compared to the controls.
Psoriasis is a systemic and chronic disease that is mediated by an immune system gone awry in combination with various genetic and environmental factors. Psoriasis is not restricted to the skin and epidemiological studies show that psoriasis is associated with an increased risk of mortality and morbidities. Activation of T cells and consequently, that of inflammatory cells in the skin promote the proliferation of keratinocytes and epidermal hyperplasia. Pro-inflammatory cytokines released by T cells, including TNFα, IL-2 and Interferons induce an inflammatory cascade. Medications such as efalizumab and alefacept as well as anti-TNFα drugs such as infliximab, etanercept and adalimumab are used to treat and control psoriasis.
Uveitis is a condition characterized by intraocular inflammation with about 40% being secondary to an immune-mediated disease and 30% not fitting into any well-defined etiology. Development of uveitis shows genetic predisposition with a strong link between uveitis and a locus on chromosome 9. Studies show that Th17 and Th1 immune responses are involved in the immunopathogenesis of the disease, with IL-17 and TNFα levels being particularly high in the aqueous humor of patients with uveitis.
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