Newly Identified Pathway Explains Why Antihistamine Drugs Often Don’t Work in Eczema Patients

During the spring and summer, allergy sufferers take antihistamine drugs to keep allergies under control.

During the spring and summer allergy sufferers take antihistamines to keep allergies under control antihistamines are the standard treatment for allergies and itching but often in the case of eczema patients with acute itch flares the drugs don’t help dermatologist and associate professor of medicine dr brian kim is co-director of the center for the study of itch

And sensory disorders at washington university school of medicine in st louis his goal is to understand itch which can lead to treatments and relief in this case he wants to help eczema patients who suffer from debilitating itch patients in the clinic show up and they say hey i had a terrible weekend i went to my grandmother’s house and she has this cat and every

Time i go there my eczema just itches like crazy and the itching is just unbearable we have patients say springtime comes my eczema flares terribly and i can’t really get outside so itchy so we thought maybe this is the missing link is that okay not the rash but it’s the itching his research shows that allergens in the environment are often to blame for episodes

Of acute itch in eczema patients determined to get answers about why this happens and why antihistamines to treat allergies don’t always help dr kim became principal investigator for groundbreaking research you have antibodies circulating in your blood called ige the thing that always bothers us about eczema is that we knew that patients with eczema have ige

Against a whole host of environmental allergens but we never knew what it did we have traditionally attributed to acting through one cell in particular in the cell is called the mast cell and these mast cells are in the skin what was surprising is that when we modeled eczema in the setting of eczema the mass and mast cells aren’t that important and the itching

Doesn’t respond to antihistamines because the itch signals are being carried to the brain along a previously unrecognized pathway that current drugs don’t target it’s a really rare cell but potent cell in the blood called the basophil that we thought had no real clear function turns out to be very important in triggering acute itch flares in eczema but what happens

In eczema is that these rare basophils in the blood become the primary responders to allergen and they release not just histamine but another molecule called leukotriene c4 which is very very potent at activating edge so this now starts to explain why maybe in some patients with eczema taking antihistamines might be helpful for some of these acute itch flares but

For the majority of them it’s not helpful and it’s because it’s actually a different circuit this really gets fundamentally at the idea that you know why do anti-histamines not work why do i have acute itch flares and why is eczema really truly an allergic disease kim says if they can block this pathway with drugs it may become a strategy for a possible new drug

Target very important for acute itch flares and eczema but it may also be useful for other kinds of itch we don’t we don’t know that yet this is just the tip of the iceberg and if that is the case yes absolutely this is a very very druggable target you could easily develop an antagonist for it potentially develop it not just for acute inflammatories and eczema but

Maybe other many other forms of itch almost every allergic disorder has some lack of response to antihistamines as well a very significant lack of response so the question then is what’s left and the pathway that we’ve discovered may actually be very very important not just for itching but a variety of other allergic processes whether it’s hay fever coughing or

Wheezing and asthma bowel discomfort in food allergy so that’s where we can actually potentially develop new drugs to target this pathway to alleviate many of those other processes so this is really the beginning this whole field just started in the last 10 years we used to think it really wasn’t a symptom or even a sensation unto itself we thought it was a mild

Form of pain so this is really a new revolution and now that we’ve uncorked the idea that not only can we target itch there are many different forms of inch this is now just opened up a whole new way of thinking and developing drugs and going after these things one by one maybe multiple itches at once

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Newly Identified Pathway Explains Why Antihistamine Drugs Often Don't Work in Eczema Patients By HEC Science \u0026 Technology