We know that yawning is "catching," but can you catch an itch? The answer is yes. We don’t mean a disease, like measles or chicken pox, that MAKES you itch–we’re talking about how just SEEING someone else scratch makes us want to do it too. And here’s something that will surprise you: Dental cavities are catching too!

Dermatologist Gil Yosipovitch says that "contagious itch" is visually transmitted–it occurs in daily life when we see other people itch and scratch. He says, "It is conceivable that the neuronal networks or mechanisms underlying contagious itching may be similar to the ones involved in contagious yawning, a phenomenon that is still intensely studied, but not exactly clear. The brain has such a powerful contribution to itch and by understanding it, we may be able to develop future therapies that can target these areas and relieve the itch impulse."

Dermatologists would like to find a way to stop itching–not only to keep patients more comfortable but also to prevent scarring. His team compared a group of healthy subjects with patients who had a type of itchy dermatitis. All the study participants were monitored as they watched short video clips of people either scratching or in a relaxed state. They found that those with real skin problems scratched more frequently while watching the videos of other subjects scratching, and those with only a visually-induced itch had a scattered, wide body distribution of scratching. Papoiu says, “This shows that the power of the brain is pretty extreme."

Watch out for whom you’re kissing if you don’t want to have to visit the dentist: It turns out you can "catch" the bacteria that causes cavities from another person’s mouth. In fact, it happens most often to infants and children, who pick it up from their caregivers who taste their food before giving it to them, to make sure it’s not too hot. Adults mostly get the bacteria from Kissing: In the March 29th edition of the New York Times, Anahad O’Connor quotes Chicago dentist Margaret Mitchell as saying, “In one instance, a patient in her 40s who had never had a cavity suddenly developed two cavities and was starting to get some gum disease.” It turns out the woman had started dating a man who hadn’t been to a dentist in 18 years.

The power of the brain IS extreme–but does this mean that UFO (NOTE: Subscribers can still listen to this show) and "Visitor" experiences are all in people’s minds? Here at unknowncountry.com, we don’t think so and we’ve collected eleven interviews of contactees by Anne Strieber, just for our subscribers, of people like Mike, so you can make up YOUR OWN mind. Come see us in Nashville in June, where you’ll get a chance to meet new friends and talk about it!

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