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Chem Immunol Allergy. 2012;98:253-65. doi: 10.1159/000336529. Epub 2012 Jun 26.

Itch and the brain.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02129, USA.


The sensation of itch - defined as unpleasant sensation inducing the urge to scratch - is processed by a network of different brain regions contributing to the encoding of sensory, emotional, attention-dependent, cognitive-evaluative and motivational patterns. Patients with atopic eczema show different activation patterns and kinetics compared to healthy volunteers. This review summarizes current studies investigating itch in the brain.

Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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