Credit: U.S. News By: Dr. Leah Light November 7, 2018 Click here to read
Itching and the Brain
So I woke up this morning scratching a bump which I realize is probably a flea bite. Guess the Frontline isn’t as good as it advertizes. I have several options. 1) Tell my 116 lbs American Lab that he is no longer allowed to get into bed to snuggle once my husband vacates his side 2) Wash my 116 lb dog weekly or daily 3) Stop whining and take the bad with the good. I have decided on the third option.
Why do we itch? Well, I mean we all know why but why does it go on and on and we can’t get rid of it. There have been many theories including nerve endings stuck in a feedback loop. However, in a recent study at Johns Hopkins University, a unique protein recptor on a specific sensory neron nerve ending called MrgprA3 seems to be the culprit. It is the first evidence of itch-specific nerves.
So now what? Hopefully this discovery will allow for new meds that block these receptors and stop the horrible itch caused by poison ivy or eczema or flea bites without affecting the other senses. Until then, I will continue with my allergy antihystemine and cortaid and hope that the fleas will enjoy Midnight, the dog, and leave me alone.