Medical science is getting closer to understanding one of the most common causes of chronically itchy arms called brachioradial pruritus.
This means we’re also getting closer to helping people who suffer from this extremely frustrating condition!
A new study exploring the cause of brachioradial pruritus was just reported in the October issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. The authors used MRI imaging to look at the cervical spine of 41 patients suffering from chronic itching of what was otherwise normal appearing skin on the outer surface of their forearms arms (called brachioradial pruritus). MRI imaging showed a very strong correlation between the itch and nerve compression in the patient’s neck. In fact, the exact site of the itch on the skin correlated precisely with the spinal location in the neck where the nerve resides that supplies that part of the arm skin (we call this a dermatome*).
What’s so interesting is that Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Bailey's Skin Care Blog*
So on Sunday night, I finished singing BSparl her bedtime song and leaned in to tuck her into her crib. But because she was giggling and reaching for me, I leaned in to give her an extra hug.
NEVER GO IN FOR THE EXTRA HUG.
Or at least that’s what someone should have whispered in my ear.
Because when I leaned it, she happened to reach up at the same time and her thumb met my eye with such force that it knocked me to my knees. Apparently, her thumb nail scraped off a section of my cornea (or, as my eye doctor said, “You know when you eat string cheese and you pull a section of the cheese off?” Thanks, Dr. S. I will never, ever eat string cheese again. Ever.) and severely damaged my eye. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Six Until Me.*
Although scratching has been everyone’s favorite method of removing an itch for thousands if not millions of years, scientists have not been able to uncover the neurological mechanism of this action. Now a team of University of Minnesota researchers used the long-tailed macaques as subjects in an experiment that showed that the nerves being scratched send different signals to the spinal cord and then to the brain depending on whether there’s an itch in the area. In addition to being a peculiar finding, this may lead to the development of stimulation devices that address acute itching, pain, or other nociceptive phenomena.
From the abstract in Nature Neuroscience:
Spinothalamic tract (STT) neurons respond to itch-producing agents and transmit pruritic information to the brain. We observed that scratching the cutaneous receptive field of primate STT neurons produced inhibition during histamine-evoked activity but not during spontaneous activity or activity evoked by a painful stimulus, suggesting that scratching inhibits the transmission of itch in the spinal cord in a state-dependent manner.
Abstract in Nature Neuroscience: Relief of itch by scratching: state-dependent inhibition of primate spinothalamic tract neurons
(hat tip: AP)
*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget.com*