NPF-Funded Research

Beyond Inflammation: Defining and Targeting Residual Pain in Psoriatic Arthritis

Rebecca Haberman

Principal Investigator: Rebecca Haberman, M.D., MSCI
New York University Grossman School of Medicine

Grant Mechanism: Bridge Grant
Funding Amount: $49,997
Project Start Date: August 1, 2023
Project End Date: July 31, 2024
Status: Active
Keywords: Psoriatic Arthritis, Psoriasis, Comorbidity, Mental Health, Clinical Research

Project Summary:

Beyond skin and joint involvement, psoriatic arthritis (PsA) has a burden on every aspect of life; it is associated with decreased quality of life, increased rates of unemployment, sleep perturbations, and high levels of psychologic stress (i.e., depression/anxiety). Despite treatments with medications that target inflammation, a significant proportion of patients continue to experience pain, even in those who are judged to be "in remission" by their doctors. This led us to ask a critical question, namely: why do some people with PsA achieve full resolution of their symptoms while others do not? Here, we aim to determine how and why patients experience pain and to gain insight into factors that may explain an individual's susceptibility for increased chronic pain. The ability to define and ascertain chronic pain allows for the implementation of patient-specific interventions, beyond our current arsenal of medications, that aim to improve quality of life for patients with PsA. We also offer mindfulness-based practices as a possible solution to chronic pain and intend to show that behavioral health interventions are needed in combination with anti­inflammatory medications in PsA.

How will your project help improve the lives of the 125 million affected by psoriatic disease?

This project is aimed to understand why patients with psoriatic arthritis may continue to have pain even after their inflammation is controlled. By identifying these drivers of pain, we can target and address these symptoms.

Why is psoriatic disease research important to you, personally? What role will this award play in your research efforts or career development?

In my clinical practice, I take care of many patients with psoriatic arthritis and while I see the progress that we have made over the past decade with new therapeutics, it also highlights to me what is still missing. My research aims to fill in these gaps to improve the care of patients with psoriatic disease overall. This award will help me achieve these goals.

Researcher Profile:

Rebecca Haberman is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology at NYU Langone Grossman School of Medicine. She has been the recipient of grants from the NIH, National Psoriasis Foundation, and Rheumatology Research Foundation. Her research focuses on the transition from psoriasis to psoriatic arthritis and mental health and pain in psoriatic arthritis.

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