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Transcranial magnetic stimulation over contralateral primary somatosensory cortex disrupts perception of itch intensity

Jones, Olivia; Jones, Olivia; Schindler, Igor; Schindler, Igor; Holle, Henning; Holle, Henning

Authors

Olivia Jones

Olivia Jones

Dr Henning Holle H.Holle@hull.ac.uk
Senior Lecturer in Psychology / Leader of Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience group ( www.hull.ac.uk/neuroscience )

Dr Henning Holle H.Holle@hull.ac.uk
Senior Lecturer in Psychology / Leader of Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience group ( www.hull.ac.uk/neuroscience )



Contributors

Olivia Jones
Researcher

Abstract

Itch, a complex unpleasant sensation causing the desire to scratch, results from the activity of a network of brain regions. However, the specific functional contributions of individual regions within this network remains poorly understood. We investigated whether contralateral primary and secondary somatosensory cortices (S1, S2) and ipsilateral inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) are critically involved in the cortical processing of acute itch. Continuous theta-burst transcranial magnetic stimulation (cTBS) was applied to either S1, S2 or IFG, followed by itch induction using a histamine prick. Results indicate a significant reduction of itch intensity when cTBS was applied to S1. Stimulation of S2 or the IFG were not associated with a significant reduction in itch intensity. The novel finding of an anti-pruritic effect elicited by disruption of activity in contralateral S1 suggests a causal role of S1 in encoding the sensory-discriminative aspect of itch and might be important in future studies on brain interventions for the treatment of itch.

Journal Article Type Article
Print ISSN 0906-6705
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Institution Citation Jones, O., Jones, O., Schindler, I., Schindler, I., Holle, H., & Holle, H. (in press). Transcranial magnetic stimulation over contralateral primary somatosensory cortex disrupts perception of itch intensity. Experimental Dermatology, https://doi.org/10.1111/exd.13803
DOI https://doi.org/10.1111/exd.13803
Keywords Antipruritic; Histamine; Pruritus; TMS, somatosensory; Meta-analysis; Cerebral itch response
Publisher URL https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/exd.13803