Washington University Researchers Discover Itch Gene
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Researchers at Washington University say they have discovered a gene that makes mice scratch. People also have the gene, called the gastrin-releasing peptide receptor, or G.R.P.R. for short. It may be at least partially responsible for chronic itching in people with diseases such as eczema or itching caused by some drugs. The discovery - reported today in the online version of the journal Nature - could lead to drugs that specifically block the gene to relieve itching.