Effect of Itch, Scratching and Mental Stress on Autonomic Nervous System Function in Atopic Dermatitis

Acta Dermato-Venereologica, 06/24/2010

The current study used heart rate variability to examine the effect of itch, scratching and mental stress in atopic patients with moderate to severe disease...This study supports the concept that atopic dermatitis is a stress–responsive disorder and involves autonomic nervous system dysfunction. Atopic subjects exhibited an overactive sympathetic response to itch and scratching, while the parasympathetic tone was persistently and rigidly elevated, showing a lack of adaptability in response to stress.

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