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What Makes Us Feel an Itch? NPPB apparently!

Itch is a funny beast. We recognise the sensation as being quite distinct from other forms of discomfort such a sharp pain, pressure, hot and cold. So there has always been a hypothesis that there must be specific itch neurons or nerve cells. Yet they have remained elusive…until now. Nppb is a neurochemical that seems to be a mediator of the itch sensation, at least in mice. Most itches are trivial but for some conditions it’s a constant and unbearable sensation so new treatments are need. Well have to wait and see if we’re just scratching the surface of this (pun intended) or whether the nppd hypothesis  translates into humans, but its a potentially big step.