Navigation Links
Study Offers Insights Into Male Pattern Baldness

Finding could lead to better treatment for hair loss conditions, experts say,,

WEDNESDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers are reporting that they've linked a gene to a rare condition that makes people develop thin "peach fuzz" hair, potentially paving the way toward greater insight into male-pattern baldness.

The finding won't immediately lead to a better treatment or cure, said Angela M. Christiano, co-author of the study, published April 15 in the journal Nature. And though it's "just a tiny little piece of the puzzle," it could provide perspective about a component of male-pattern baldness known as shrinkage, said Christiano, director of the Center for Human Genetics at Columbia University.

Contrary to popular belief, male-pattern baldness doesn't cause hair to stop growing. Instead, hair still grows but it's short and fine, like peach fuzz, Christiano said.

"If you look at a very bald scalp, they are still making tiny little peach-fuzz hairs," she said. "A follicle is still there. The hardware is still there to grow a hair of some kind."

People with a rare condition called hereditary hypotrichosis simplex have the same problem, although it begins at birth.

In the new study, Christiano and her colleagues examined the genetic makeup of members of two Pakistani families and one Italian family whose members have inherited the condition. The researchers discovered a gene in which a mutation appears to cause the problem.

The gene, called APCDD1, is located in a region of chromosome 18 that has been shown in previous studies to be linked to other forms of hair loss. The researchers also found that APCDD1 inhibits a signaling pathway that has long been shown to control hair growth in mice, but has not been extensively linked to human hair growth.

In addition to providing more insight into hereditary hypotrichosis simplex, the gene research "gives us an inroad into understanding male-pattern baldness" because the conditions are similar, Christiano said. It may be a matter of reprogramming the hair software because the hardware is still there, she said.

Part of the challenge of studying baldness is that mice don't suffer from the equivalent of male-pattern baldness, making animal research less effective in understanding how hair growth works, she said.

Dr. Doris Day, a dermatologist in New York City, said that about half of people older than 50 have hair loss. "It can be debilitating, especially to women, who have fewer options for treatment," Day said.

Drugs such as Rogaine and Propecia treat baldness, but they do so by preventing future hair loss rather than growing new hair, Christiano said.

Also, Day said, the medications have side effects. "Most of the drugs block hormones or enzymes," she said. "However, they are not specific to the scalp so side effects can include decreased libido as well as potential damage to the liver."

"The medications need to be taken indefinitely in order to remain effective," she said, "and for some people, the medications do not adequately control the hair loss."

A gene-based treatment, by contrast, might allow hair to grow normally. And understanding the genetic basis of baldness could help researchers find better treatments for other conditions, such as alopecia, which causes hair loss, Christiano said, adding that she has alopecia.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about hair loss.

SOURCES: Angela M. Christiano, Ph.D., director, Center for Human Genetics, Columbia University Medical Center, New York City; Doris Day, M.D., dermatologist, New York City; April 15, 2010, Nature

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Study Explores Possibility of a Female Viagra
2. Study Shows Some Anti-Seizure Meds Raise Suicide Risk
3. Study Finds Military Prone to Infection With H1N1 Flu
4. UCLA study compares bypass surgery to angioplasty
5. People living in communities near oil sands can breathe easy: U of A study
6. Brain cancer: Study focuses on forgotten cells
7. New Study Identifies Cause of Severe Disequilibrium and Significant Memory Loss Following Stapedectomy Surgery
8. Uninsured get poor care for migraine: Harvard study
9. Study Questions Use of Heart Device Implants in the Very Old
10. UNC study offers first clinical evidence of anti-cancer drug triggering viral infection
11. M. D. Anderson receives 4.5 million grant, largest ever for study of yoga and cancer
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/30/2015)... Viejo, CA (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... Cut Pro X . Choose from scrolling web-styled transitions to wipes with blur ... colors, transition direction and more. Seamlessly transition from one clip to the next ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... Winscribe ... at the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) 2015 conference. , Leading ... cutting-edge dictation and speech-enabled documentation software, announced their partnership today at RSNA ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... Several significant coding-related changes are ... likely to include new codes for spine and hip X-rays, paravertebral facet blocks ... of code changes in musculoskeletal, radiology and nervous system sections on an Orthopedic ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... carrier-grade software solutions and services which empower organizations through communication analytics, announced today ... them effectively monitor and manage their service quality. , Proteus® VoIP QMS ...
(Date:11/29/2015)... Orion, Clarkston, Metamora, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... November 29, 2015 , ... ... football games, basketball games. Things that as a Mother and Wife would love to ... was no mistake that I just happened to call Dr. Zaidan first. They have ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/29/2015)... Nov. 29, 2015  Strengthening its leadership in connected ... PHIA) today announced IntelliSpace Portal 8.0 , the ... visualization platform that helps radiologists detect, diagnose and follow-up ... Radiological Society of North America Annual Meeting (RSNA) ... 8.0 helps address the changing demands in radiology that ...
(Date:11/29/2015)... Germany , Nov. 29, 2015  At this ... attendees to experience the most complete mobile C-arm portfolio ... display is Ziehm Vision RFD 3D, the world,s only ... cm edge length per scan volume. In addition, Ziehm ... fully motorized mobile C-arm in four axes which is ...
(Date:11/29/2015)... CORALVILLE, Iowa , Nov. 29, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... in ultrasound guidance technology at the Radiological Society ... conference in Chicago November ... guidance system is designed to offer customers unrivaled ... outcomes. --> ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: