An Oxford professor is spearheading a new study which aims to predict the cases of a long-term condition which can cause swelling and even change the colour of people's nails. 

Today marks psoriatic arthritis awareness day and a researcher is shining a light on the devastating impact of the condition. 

The study, led by Dr Laura Coates who is a senior clinical research fellow at the University of Oxford, will collate responses from 2,000 people who suffer from psoriasis to predict whether they are likely to develop arthritis.

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It is thought that one in five people with psoriasis will develop psoriatic arthritis, according to the UK’s leading national charity and membership organisation for people affected by psoriasis.

Psoriatic arthritis' symptoms include swelling and stiffness, nails changing from their usual colour and the person feeling drained of energy.

Oxford Mail: Professor Laura Coates is spearheading the study.Professor Laura Coates is spearheading the study. (Image: David Fisher)

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The study, which is still looking for volunteers who have psoriasis but have not yet had symptoms of psoriatic arthritis, aims to find reasons why psoriasis can develop into psoriatic arthritis and help people notice their symptoms early on.

Dr Coates said that while there have been some good moves forward in terms of research, there are still gaps around educating people.

She added: “We aim to be able to predict in future which patients are at greater risk of developing psoriatic arthritis and possibly do something to prevent it.”

Former mayor of Banbury, Jayne Moggridge, is one psoriasis sufferer who was negatively affected by a late diagnosis.

Ms Moggridge, 38, suffered a foot injury last year while playing football which did heal though a different injury to her ankle became badly swollen soon after.

Oxford Mail: Jayne had been an active mother with two children at the time of her injury.Jayne had been an active mother with two children at the time of her injury. (Image: Jayne Moggridge)

Her doctors massaged her to try to calm her ankle and at one point she was given strong anti-inflammatory tablets but the pain remained excruciating.

After being misdiagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, she was finally diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis at the beginning of March.

“I just though psoriasis was psoriasis," she said. 

“If the condition was caught sooner and treatment started earlier, maybe there would have been a difference in how bad it got.”

Her new medication takes three months to kick in and so she is hoping to see progress soon.

Oxford Mail: An example of psoriasis.An example of psoriasis. (Image: Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics)

Dr Coates added: “Failure to pinpoint psoriatic arthritis can lead to unnecessary pain and lower quality of life.

“If we can predict who’s going to get psoriatic arthritis we’ll be able to warn people ahead of time.”

Volunteers can sign up and join the web-based study at to complete questionnaires at six-month intervals and see how their condition changes over time.

Participants are able to monitor themselves and so can pick up symptoms even in the short term.

The study hopes to host 2,000 participants from 12 countries and currently has 700 participants already signed up from the UK.

Visit if you are interested in participating.