Scientists have been trying to figure out exactly why we get itchy for a long time.  Recent studies have shown that the feeling of an itch, previously believed to be a mild version of pain, actually involves it’s own neural connections.  What was causing the sensation, however, still remained a mystery.

In May, Santos Mishra, a molecular geneticist, and Mark Hoon from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research in Bethesda, Md said they had located the neurons that produce a chemical called Nppb, which sets off the itch response in the body.  Mice that were altered to lack Nppb became impervious to itches, but retained a sense of heat and pain.
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According to Mark Hoon, being able to indemnify those neurons that produce Nppb may be able to lead to drugs that can offer relief from difficult-to-treat forms of chronic itchiness – such was eczema or psoriasis.

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