Study Identifies Itch-specific Nerves

Scientists have been looking for itch-specific nerves for decades. New research from investigators at Johns Hopkins University and Yale University in the United States and several universities in China has identified sensory neurons in mice that are dedicated to relaying itchy sensations from the top layers of skin to the spinal cord [1].

Woman itching her back

NIH Researchers Implicate Unique Cell Type in Multiple Sclerosis

Researchers at the National Institutes of Health have found evidence that a unique type of immune cell contributes to multiple sclerosis (MS). Their discovery helps define the effects of one of the newest drugs under investigation for treating MS — daclizumab — and could lead to a new class of drugs for treating MS and other autoimmune disorders.

Neuron

MIA is a Potential Biomarker for NF1 Tumor Load

Neurofibromatosis type 1 is a genetic condition that can cause tumors to form on nerves under the skin. Since these tumors can become malignant, it is important to monitor their growth closely and detect signs of malignant transformation as early as possible. However, the only way to currently detect them is with an MRI scan. New research published in BioMed Central’s open access journal BMC Medicine shows that a simple blood test for the protein melanoma-inhibitory activity (MIA) may be used to indicate the presence of neurofibromas even if they cannot be seen [1].

Blood test