Twins Affected by Psoriasis, Psoriatic Arthritis, and Autism Benefit from Drug Treatment

July 25, 2022

Secukinumab Not Only Eased Symptoms of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis but also Improved Psychopathological Profile

In the past, autism has been associated with alterations in the immune system and related inflammation mediators. Therefore, it is not surprising that many individuals with autism also suffer from autoimmune disorders (e.g., type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis/psoriatic arthritis, multiple sclerosis, etc…). Now, a new case study reports on a pair of monozygotic (identical) twins diagnosed with both autism and psoriasis at four years of age. At the time of their diagnosis, “twin A” had severe psoriasis that affected his entire body surface with a Psoriasis Area Severity Index score (PASI) of 35. “Twin B” had a less severe case and a PASI score of 17. Interestingly, Twin B developed psoriasis two months later than his brother. The pair was treated with topical medications but only experienced partial relief of their symptoms. In 2016, at age 31, the twins both had severe psoriasis (respectively PASI 25 and PASI 20) and had developed symptoms of psoriatic arthritis. A team of doctors decided to try Secukinumab (Cosentyx) to treat the twins’ psoriasis. Their treatment started with five injections of subcutaneous (300 mg weekly) doses of the drug, followed by once-a-month administration. After four weeks of treatment, the twins showed rapid improvement with a reduction of their PASI scores to 9 and 4, respectively.  In the sixth month of treatment, the pair achieved PASI 0 scores. Additionally, they gained joint pain relief from their psoriatic arthritis symptoms. Five years later, both twins continue the medication with clinical stabilization and experience no side effects. Remarkably, the twins’ mother reported an improvement in their level of attention and social interaction after taking the drug. Secukinumab is an IL-17A inhibitor. Previous research has shown increased IL-17 serum levels in people with autism that correlates with the severity of autism. The research team behind this case study is calling for further studies to determine the possible pathogenetic role of IL-17A in ASDs and the usefulness of an anti-IL-17A therapy in the case of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis comorbidities. 

Case Study

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