Psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis and brain fog: find out the facts

Studies show that there may be a link between psoriatic disease and cognitive impairment.

Psoriasis is an immune-mediated condition associated with systemic inflammation. The most common form, plaque psoriasis, causes raised, scaly skin lesions to form on one or more parts of the body.

Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a type of inflammatory arthritis. It causes stiff, swollen and painful joints. If a person does not receive treatment, the disease can cause permanent joint damage and lead to mobility problems.

Psoriatic disease is a term that collectively refers to both psoriasis and PSA. The two conditions are linked. Up to 30% of people with psoriasis also develop PSA.

Brain fog is a type of cognitive dysfunction that involves problems with:

  • Warning
  • concentration
  • Memory
  • organization
  • speech

All of these symptoms are also mild cognitive impairment (MCI). MCI is a condition in which a person has more thinking or memory problems than other people in their age group.

MCI May include other minor problems associated with thought patterns, such as:

  • lose things frequently
  • think slower
  • forgetting words or appointments

Research has shown that psoriasis and PSA can cause symptoms of brain fog or MCI. This article explores the connection.

According to research, psoriasis and PSA can cause brain fog or MCI.

A 2018 study notes a link between psoriasis and MCI. According to researchers, psoriasis can cause:

They note that doctors should assess a person’s cognitive and mental health status both during diagnosis and during treatment.

A study 2017 found that people with psoriasis scored lower on cognitive assessment tests than those without.

Research has also shown a link between PSA and MCI. A 2021 study reports that people living with PSA had a higher incidence rate of MCI than the general population. The study researchers note that the determining factors included:

  • age
  • disability level
  • skin involvement

Health experts believe that psoriatic disease and cognitive dysfunction have inflammatory components. Treating psoriatic disease can help minimize chronic inflammation, which in turn can improve MCI symptoms.

A person with psoriasis, PsA, or both, who are worried about symptoms of MCI or brain fog can take steps to lessen the severity of their symptoms. The following tips can help manage both psoriatic disease and brain fog.

stay active

A person should consult a doctor about their ability to start a new exercise routine to help manage both PSA and potentially help with symptoms of brain fog or MCI.

According to a 2015 study, aerobic exercise, such as walking or running, can help improve MCI.

Exercise and physical activity can also help people living with Reduce PS:

  • joint pain, stiffness and swelling
  • inflammation
  • risk of developing related comorbidities, such as cardiovascular disease

Improve sleep hygiene

Consistent, restful sleep can help improve brain fog symptoms. According to a study 2017, lack of sleep disrupts the brain’s ability to communicate with itself. This can lead to memory loss and other symptoms of MCI.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, several factors associated with PA, like pain, depression, and sleep apnea, can affect a person’s sleep. Addressing these factors could help improve an individual’s sleep patterns.

Establishing good sleep hygiene can help a person get enough rest. The following tips may be helpful:

  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends.
  • Remove electronic devices from the bedroom.
  • Maintain a cool, dark, and quiet bedroom environment to promote sleep.

Find a new hobby

Researchers behind a 2015 study found that taking up a new hobby can help strengthen and maintain cognitive function. Possible hobbies include painting, crafts, woodworking, or any other activity that requires brain engagement.

Finding a new hobby, especially one that involves a social element where a person can interact with others, can also help with depression or anxiety. It could also help individuals feel less isolated or lonely if they otherwise struggle to stay social.

Treat underlying causes

While psoriasis and PSA can cause brain fog, certain comorbidities, such as depression and anxiety, may also play a role. Treating these types of underlying conditions can help manage associated cognitive symptoms.

Following all prescribed treatments for psoriatic disease to reduce inflammation, finding ways to manage stress, and treating any depression or anxiety can help reduce cognitive symptoms.

Other Tips

Other steps can help treat symptoms of brain fog and MCI, although they may not directly impact psoriatic disease. These steps include:

  • minimize the consumption of processed foods
  • finding coping strategies, like writing things down
  • try executive functioning coaching
  • practicing mind-clearing skills, such as mindfulness

Brain fog or MCI can occur with psoriasis and PSA.

A person can take steps to manage both psoriatic disease and cognitive symptoms, such as exercising, improving sleep, and following a doctor’s treatment recommendations.

Additional steps, like trying to develop coping strategies and practicing mindfulness, can also help directly manage brain fog.

About Margie Peters

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