The 4th International Workshop for the Study of Itch* was held 9–11 September 2007 in San Francisco, California. For the first time, the meeting was sponsored in part by a grant from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases and the Office of Rare Diseases of the National Institutes of Health. Also for the first time, the meeting was held under the auspices of the International Forum for the Study of Itch (IFSI). Organized by Earl and Mirela Carstens, the meeting was attended by more than 130 scientists and physicians from throughout the world. The workshop covered a vast range of topics, including the neurophysiology of itch in humans and animals, molecular mechanisms of itch, neurogenic inflammation, and pharmacology of antipruritics. Clinical aspects were well covered, and there was a lively discussion of itch definitions. Other topics included clinical research on the epidemiology and pathophysiology of itch in systemic disease, neuropathic itch, new treatments, and psychosocial aspects of chronic itch. Highlights of the meeting are presented below.
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