New research at the School of Medicine shows that chronic itching, which can occur in many medical conditions, is different from the urge to scratch a mosquito bite. Chronic itching appears to incorporate more than just the nerve cells that normally transmit itch signals. In the image shown, researchers identified elevated signaling (in red) in nerve cells involved in both itch and in pain.
Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has launched its new Center for the Study of Itch, believed to be the world’s first multidisciplinary program designed solely to understand and treat itch. It was established to bring scientists and clinicians together to study the mechanisms that transmit the perception of itch and to translate those findings into better treatments for chronic sufferers.