May 24, 2013 | David

Cats and mosquito bites I love one, hate the other, and both make me itchy. But what makes us want to scratch?

Researchers studying mice have discovered that one particular hormone is critical for sending itching sensations to the brain. When it's not there, itching stops, but other sensations such as touch and pain work normally.

Unfortunately it could be dangerous to interfere with the hormone, so new itching treatments might still be a long way off. No cat for me just yet, then...

This research was published in the 24 May 2013 edition of the journal Science.


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Do you get itchy very often?

cat scratching

Itching may be a sensation distinct from pain, heat and touch.


Image: Flickr/SMN

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