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Turns out your mom was right: scratching an itch only makes it worse. New research from scientists at the Center for the Study of Itch at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis reveals that scratching causes the brain to release serotonin, which intensifies the itch sensation.

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Patients with tinnitus hear phantom noise and are sometimes so bothered by the perceived ringing in their ears they have difficulty concentrating. A new therapy does not lessen perception of the noise but appears to help patients cope better with it in their daily lives, according to new research led by Jay Piccirillo, MD.

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The heart holds its own pool of immune cells capable of helping it heal after injury, according to new research in mice at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

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Researchers led by Gregory A. Storch, MD, at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, have sequenced the genome of enterovirus D68 sampled from patients treated at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Nationwide, the virus has spread rapidly in recent months and caused severe respiratory illness in young children, with some patients requiring hospitalization.

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Nerve cells
Digoxin, a medication that has been used to treat heart failure, may be adaptable for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a progressive, paralyzing disease, suggests new research at the School of Medicine.MORE

Washington University School of Medicine recently teamed up with the Saint Louis Art Museum and the university’s Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum to scan some very unusual patients: three Egyptian mummies.

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School of Medicine scientists have described a way to convert human skin cells directly into a specific type of brain cell affected by Huntington’s disease, an ultimately fatal neurodegenerative disorder. Unlike other techniques that turn one cell type into another, this new process does not pass through a stem cell phase, avoiding the production of multiple cell types.

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Joni Westerhouse
Assistant Vice Chancellor, Executive Director Medical News
(314) 286-0120
westerhousej@wustl.edu