Source of an Itch Studied in Mice11/10/10
WEDNESDAY, Nov. 10 (HealthDay News) -- In a study of nerve cells
in mice, researchers have found a link between itching and
The investigators used the mice to examine nerve cells that
transfer heat pain. When these nerve cells lost the ability to
signal, the mice showed less reaction to heat but started to itch
nonstop, they found.
"These findings link together pain from a burn with regulating sensitivity to itching, which was highly surprising and interesting," study author Klas Kullander, of Uppsala University in Sweden, said in a university news release.
The study is published in the Nov. 4 issue of the journal
Extreme itching is a common complication following burns and
surgery. General itchiness can be caused by eczema and other skin
disorders. Learning more about the underlying causes of itching
could lead to the development of new treatments, the study authors
"In the long run, and with the help of more research, we will hopefully be able to fully elucidate what nerve fibers conduct the itching itself, and then we will be able to extinguish the itch at the source," Kullander said.
The American Academy of Dermatology has more about
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