How best to fight that nasty itch - From new insights into the neuroimmunological, neuroendocrine, and neurophysiological bases of pruritus to novel therapeutic approaches

Tamás Bíró, M. C. Ko, Burkhart Bromm, Edward T. Wei, Paul Bigliardi, Frank Siebenhaar, Hideo Hashizume, Laurent Misery, Nora V. Bergasa, Chiaki Kamei, Jens Schouenborg, Dirk Roostermann, Tamás Szabó, Marcus Maurer, Mei Bigliardi-Qi, Josef G. Meingassner, Maria A. Hossen, Martin Schmelz, Martin Steinhoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

78 Scopus citations

Abstract

While the enormous clinical and psychosocial importance of pruritus in many areas of medicine and the detrimental effects of chronic 'itch' on the quality of life of an affected individual are widely appreciated, the complexity of this sensation is still often grossly underestimated. The current Controversies feature highlights this complexity by portraying pruritus as a truly interdisciplinary problem at the crossroads of neurophysiology, neuroimmunology, neuropharmacology, protease research, internal medicine, and dermatology, which is combated most successfully if one keeps the multilayered nature of 'itch' in mind and adopts a holistic treatment approach - beyond the customary, frequently frustrane monotherapy with histamine receptor antagonists. In view of the often unsatisfactory, unidimensional, and altogether rather crude standard instruments for pruritus management that we still tend to use in clinical practice today, an interdisciplinary team of pruritus experts here critically examines recent progress in pruritus research that future itch management must take into consideration. Focusing on new insights into the neuroimmunological, neuroendocrine, and neurophysiological bases of pruritus, and discussing available neuropharmacological tools, specific research avenues are highlighted, whose pursuit promises to lead to novel, and hopefully more effective, forms of pruritus management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages1
JournalExperimental Dermatology
Volume14
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2005

    Fingerprint

Cite this

Bíró, T., Ko, M. C., Bromm, B., Wei, E. T., Bigliardi, P., Siebenhaar, F., Hashizume, H., Misery, L., Bergasa, N. V., Kamei, C., Schouenborg, J., Roostermann, D., Szabó, T., Maurer, M., Bigliardi-Qi, M., Meingassner, J. G., Hossen, M. A., Schmelz, M., & Steinhoff, M. (2005). How best to fight that nasty itch - From new insights into the neuroimmunological, neuroendocrine, and neurophysiological bases of pruritus to novel therapeutic approaches. Experimental Dermatology, 14(3).