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Clin Neurophysiol. 2015 Sep;126(9):1650-60. doi: 10.1016/j.clinph.2014.11.019. Epub 2014 Nov 28.

Central mechanisms of itch.

Author information

1
Department of Integrative Physiology, National Institute for Physiological Sciences, Okazaki, Aichi, Japan; Department of Dermatology and Temple Itch Center, Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA. Electronic address: hideki.mochizuki@tuhs.temple.edu.
2
Department of Integrative Physiology, National Institute for Physiological Sciences, Okazaki, Aichi, Japan.

Abstract

Itch is a complex sensory and emotional experience. Functional brain imaging studies have been performed to identify brain regions associated with this complex experience, and these studies reported that several brain regions are activated by itch stimuli. The possible roles of these regions in itch perception and difference in cerebral mechanism between healthy subjects and chronic itch patients are discussed in this review article. Additionally, the central itch modulation system and cerebral mechanisms of contagious itch, pleasurable sensation evoked by scratching have also been investigated in previous brain imaging studies. We also discuss how these studies advance our understanding of these mechanisms.

KEYWORDS:

Central itch modulation; Contagious itch; Functional brain imaging; Itch; Scratching-induced pleasurability

PMID:
25534483
DOI:
10.1016/j.clinph.2014.11.019
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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