Link Between Psoriasis and Dementia Investigated

A recently published study compared cognition, MRI-markers, and dementia risk in patients diagnosed with psoriasis vs those without psoriasis.

A study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology investigated whether patients diagnosed with psoriasis might be at a higher risk of dementia than those without psoriasis.1

The research objective was to compare cognition, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-markers, and dementia risk in psoriasis and nonpsoriasis patients in a Rotterdam study. The question was asked as many psoriasis patients have cardiometabolic comorbidities, inflammation, and an overlap in genetics with Alzheimer diseases, meaning they might be at risk for cognitive dysfunction and dementia. 

In total, the study evaluated 318 patients with psoriasis and 9,678 patients without psoriasis with a mean age of 66 years and 58% identified as females. Linear and logistic regression was used to examine brain damage in psoriasis patients based on cognitive function, mild cognitive impairment, and MRI-markers. The dementia risk was calculated using Cox regression and models were adjusted for age, sex, education, and cardiovascular risk factors. 

The results found that cognitive test scores and volumetric, microstructural, and focal measures on brain MRI were not different between psoriasis and nonpsoriasis patients. Also, the psoriasis patients were not associated with mild cognitive impairment (adjusted odd ratio 0.87, 95% confidence interval 0.53-1.43).

“During 115.000 person-years of follow-up, 810 incident dementia cases (15 among psoriasis patients) occurred,” wrote study authors.

In all, it was found that psoriasis was associated with a lower risk of developing dementia after adjusting for confounders.

Also, results of this population-based study did not find evidence that psoriasis was associated with preclinical markers or higher risk of dementia.

"Preclinical markers of dementia are comparable between psoriasis and nonpsoriasis participants," the authors wrote.2 "The first results related to dementia show no increased and perhaps even a protective effect of psoriasis on dementia risk, although ongoing follow-up in the Rotterdam Study will allow us to more accurately investigate the final outcome of dementia."


1. Pezzolo E, Mutlu U, Vernooij MW, et al. Psoriasis is not associated with cognition, brain imaging markers, and risk for dementia: The Rotterdam Study. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2021;85(3):671-680. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2018.07.046

2. Psoriasis not linked to preclinical markers of dementia - drugs. Com mednews. Published September 7, 2021. Accessed September 8, 2021.

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