Dr. Itch: Q&A with Anne Louise Oaklander

The urge to scratch doesn’t always start with the skin. Sometimes, neurologist Anne Louise Oaklander has found, an itch comes straight out of your brain.

Pay close attention during your next office meeting and you will probably notice your coworkers unconsciously scratching themselves. Although it may be a bit embarrassing to be caught scratching like a barnyard animal, our constant attention to itches is normal and healthy, says Anne Louise Oaklander, a neurologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. She should know: She is an expert on some of the world’s worst itches, one of the few doctors prepared to treat peo...

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