Author(s): Hideki Mochizuki, Christina Schut, Leigh A. Nattkemper, Gil Yosipovitch
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a common chronic skin disease that is characterized by intense pruritus and has high impairment of quality of life. AD is often described as “the itch that rashes, rather than the rash that itches”. Several studies suggest that mechanisms of central modulation play an important role in the development and maintenance of chronic itch. Therefore, treating the neurosensory aspects of itch is an important part in the management of chronic itch. However, little attention has been paid to the role of the central nervous system in the processing of itch in AD. Targeting itch-related anatomical structures in the brain with non-invasive treatments such as psychological interventions and transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) could have an antipruritic effect in AD. Therefore, in this review article, we discuss the current progress in brain imaging research of itch, as well as the efficacy of non-invasive interventions for itch relief in this patient group.