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Getting to the roots of hair loss
Date:2/24/2008

eviously unknown to scientists.

Key to new drugs to combat hair loss

As Professor Dr. Markus Nthen, who holds the Chair of Genetic Medicine at Bonn University's Life & Brain Centre, explains, "The defective receptor structure falls into the category of what are known as G-protein-coupled receptors." This is good news, because, "they are particularly well suited as points of impact for drug treatments." The researchers have also been able to identify an endogenous messenger that binds in the hair follicle to the receptor. This opens up opportunities for developing new active agents. Looking to the future, Professor Dr. Ivar von Kgelgen from Bonn's Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology says, "We can now search selectively for related substances that may be used in therapies for hair loss." The exciting possibility here is that such medicines will be able to benefit patients suffering from very different types of hair loss.

Another member of the project team has been the dermatologist Dr. Khalid Al Aboud from the King Faisal Hospital in Makkah, who was responsible for the clinical case studies. In 2002, he and his colleagues examined a Saudi-Arabian family with Hypotrichosis simplex. The medical scientists were able to analyse DNA samples from the parents and from nine of their ten children including four sufferers. The family's genetic material gave the research project team the key to understanding some of the fundamental mechanisms of hair growth and hair loss. The researchers now hope that this individual genetic case will lead to developments that can benefit a far wider circle of patients in the future.


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Contact: Dr. Regina C. Betz
regina.betz@uni-bonn.de
49-228-287-22344
University of Bonn
Source:Eurekalert

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