July 02, 2013
1 min read

Actigraphy accurately assessed nocturnal scratching in AD patients

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Actigraphy was used to accurately assess nocturnal scratch behavior, while antihistamine use to suppress pruritus regulated the behavior in patients with atopic dermatitis, according to research presented at the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology-World Allergy Organization World Allergy and Asthma Congress in Milan.

Researchers in Japan used actigraphy to measure nocturnal scratching in patients with atopic dermatitis (AD) and its correlation with subjective and objective parameters in two studies. Fifteen patients (mean age, 34.3 years; 10 men) in the first study had their improvement rates for nocturnal scratch behavior assessed by actigraphy and compared with the rate of each parameter. In the other study, 10 patients (mean age, 34.1 years; six men) were assigned an antihistamine for 4 weeks to investigate the involvement and scratch behavior in AD progression. Each parameter was assessed similarly.

A significant correlation existed between nocturnal scratch behavior and severity scoring of atopic dermatitis (SCORAD), daytime itch, serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and thymus and activation-regulated chemokine (TARC) levels in the first study. Nighttime itch, sleep disturbance, number of eosinophils in peripheral blood and serum IgE levels, however, showed no correlation.

SCORAD, nocturnal scratch behavior, itch rating scale during daytime and nighttime, and laboratory findings, including eosinophil counts, serum LDH and TARC levels, improved in patients in the second study. Serum IgE levels did not improve.

“We accurately assessed nocturnal scratch behavior by actigraphy and demonstrated that suppressing pruritus with an antihistamine can regulate nocturnal scratch behavior and improve AD in terms of subjective and objective parameters, presumably by correcting barrier disorder, immunological disorder and abnormal itching sensation, which is responsible for AD,” the researchers concluded.

For more information:

Fujita H. Abstract 345: Nocturnal Scratch Behavior Assessed by Actigraphy Is Associated with Subjective and Objective Parameters in Patients with Atopic Dermatitis. Presented at: EAACI-WAO World Allergy and Asthma Congress 2013; June 23-26, Milan.