Itch : Mechanisms and Treatment book cover
1st Edition

Mechanisms and Treatment

ISBN 9781466505438
Published February 25, 2014 by CRC Press
494 Pages 33 Color & 69 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Advances in itch research have elucidated differences between itch and pain but have also blurred the distinction between them. There is a long debate about how somatic sensations including touch, pain, itch, and temperature sensitivity are encoded by the nervous system. Research suggests that each sensory modality is processed along a fixed, direct-line communication system from the skin to the brain.

Itch: Mechanisms and Treatment presents a timely update on all aspects of itch research and the clinical treatment of itch that accompanies many dermatological conditions including psoriasis, neuropathic itch, cutaneous t-cells lymphomas, and systemic diseases such as kidney and liver disease and cancer.

Composed of contributions from distinguished researchers around the world, the book explores topics such as:

  • Neuropathic itch
  • Peripheral neuronal mechanism of itch
  • The role of PAR-2 in neuroimmune communication and itch
  • Mrgprs as itch receptors
  • The role of interleukin-31 and oncostatin M in itch and neuroimmune communication
  • Spinal coding of itch and pain
  • Spinal microcircuits and the regulation of itch

Examining new findings on cellular and molecular mechanisms, the book is a compendium of the most current research on itch, its prevalence in society, and the problems associated with treatment.

Table of Contents

Itch Hypotheses: From Pattern to Specificity and to Population Coding; Hermann O. Handwerker

Epidemiology of Itch; Elke Weisshaar and Uwe Matterne

Atopic Dermatitis; Ulf Darsow, Ulrike Raap, and Sonja Ständer

Clinical Aspects of Itch: Psoriasis; Adam Reich and Jacek C. Szepietowski

Pruritus in Renal Disease; Thomas Mettang

Pruritus of Cholestasis; Nora V. Bergasa

Neuropathic Itch; Anne Louise Oaklander

Pruritus in Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphomas; L. Misery

Pruriceptors; Matthias Ringkamp and Richard Meyer

Peripheral Neuronal Mechanism of Itch 1: Histamine and Itch; Robin L. Thurmond, Kayvan Kazerouni, Sandra R. Chaplan, and Andrew J. Greenspan

Role of PAR-2 in Neuroimmune Communication and Itch; Cordula Kempkes, Joerg Buddenkotte, Ferda Cevikbas, Timo Buhl, and Martin Steinhoff

Mrgprs as Itch Receptors; Benjamin McNeil and Xinzhong Dong

Role of Interleukin-31 and Oncostatin M in Itch and Neuroimmune Communication; Ferda Cevikbas, Cordula Kempkes, Timo Buhl, Christian Mess, Joerg Buddenkotte, and Martin Steinhoff

Toll-Like Receptors and Itch; Tong Liu and Ru-Rong Ji

Lipid Mediators and Itch; Tsugunobu Andoh and Yasushi Kuraishi

The Role of Transient Receptor Potential Channels in Acute and

Chronic Itch; Sarah R. Wilson and Diana M. Bautista

Sensitization of Itch Signaling 2: Itch Sensitization—Nerve Growth Factor, Semaphorins; Mitsutoshi Tominaga and Kenji Takamori

Peripheral Opioids; Paul L. Bigliardi and Mei Bigliardi-Qi

Spinal Coding of Itch and Pain; Tasuku Akiyama and Earl Carstens

Spinal Microcircuits and the Regulation of Itch; Sarah E. Ross, Junichi Hachisuka, and Andrew J. Todd

Itch Modulation by VGLUT2-Dependent Glutamate Release from Somatic Sensory Neurons; Qiufu Ma

Ascending Pathways for Itch; Steve Davidson, Hannah Moser, and Glenn Giesler

The Brain Processing of Itch and Scratching; Hideki Mochizuki, Alexandru D.P. Papoiu, and Gil Yosipovitch

Central Nervous Processing of Itch and Pain; Clemens Forster and Hermann O. Handwerker

Roles of Central Opioid Receptor Subtypes in Regulating Itch Sensation; Mei-Chuan Ko

Sensitization for Itch; Martin Schmelz


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Earl Carstens is Distinguished Professor of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior at the University of California, Davis. Dr. Carstens received his B.S. degree in biological sciences from Cornell University and his PhD degree from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in neurobiology. He conducted postdoctoral research on descending modulation of pain at the University of Heidelberg (Germany) school of medicine and joined the faculty at the University of California, Davis in 1980, where his research interests have focused on somatosensory mechanisms and particularly itch, pain, and chemesthesis. He was awarded Fulbright Senior Professor Research Awards in 1987 and again in 1995. He is currently vice president of the International Forum for the Study of Itch. Dr. Carstens has coauthored numerous research articles, book chapters, and reviews on itch, pain, chemesthesis, and mechanisms of anesthetic action.

Tasuku Akiyama is an assistant project scientist at the University of California, Davis. Born in Yamaguchi, he received his PhD in pharmacology at Toyama University. From 2008 to 2012, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Davis, where he is currently an assistant project scientist. Dr. Akiyama’s research focuses on the investigation of neuronal mechanisms of itch and pain. His published work includes studies on the spinal and trigeminal processing of itch and pain, the neuronal mechanisms of itch in mosquito bite and dry skin, and the mechanisms of itch sensitization under chronic itch conditions.