Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that primarily affects the skin. However, 20-30 % of people with psoriasis develop a condition called psoriatic arthritis. Symptoms of psoriatic arthritis include pain, joint stiffness and fatigue, and it can dramatically impact the quality of life of those affected. Today, psoriatic arthritis is very hard to diagnose, and it is not possible to predict which psoriasis patients will go on to develop psoriatic arthritis.
The aim of HIPPOCRATES is to deliver knowledge and tools that will make it easier to spot the psoriasis patients who are at greatest risk of developing psoriatic arthritis, and diagnose them faster. In addition, the team hopes to make it easier to predict how fast a patient’s condition is likely to worsen, and which treatments are most likely to be effective for them. Finally, the team plans to probe the molecular basis of psoriatic arthritis – information that will aid in the development of much-needed new drugs to treat the condition.
The project will do all of this by drawing together data from existing psoriatic arthritis studies and establishing a library of clinical samples. They will also carry out a new study which will follow 25 000 people with psoriasis to see which ones develop psoriatic arthritis. The project will use machine learning and other artificial intelligence techniques to assist in the analysis of the data. Patients are at the heart of the consortium and will be involved in all aspects of the project’s work.
Ultimately, by speeding up diagnosis and paving the way for personalised treatments, HIPPOCRATES will improve the quality of life of people living with psoriatic arthritis.