Scientists May Have Found A Way To Cure Baldness

Researchers at the New York University School of Medicine have made an intriguing discovery that could make hair loss a thing of the past.

The NYU scientists say the secret to reversing hair loss is all about activating something called the ‘sonic hedgehog signalling pathway’.

The sonic hedgehog gene plays an important part in embryo development and was  — bizarrely — named in honour of the SEGA video game character, after postdoctorate fellow Dr Robert Riddle saw the famous critter in his six-year-old daughter’s comic book.

video games sega GIF

By activating the sonic hedgehog (SHH) pathway, the researchers were able to create “crosstalk among skin cells that form the roots of hair” and regrow hair strands on damaged skin, NYU Langone Health reported.

While the SHH pathway is quite active when a fetus is growing and developing follicles,  it is “otherwise stalled in wounded skin in healthy adults”.

Which is apparently why hair stops growing in places that have been wounded or undergone surgery.

“Our results show that stimulating fibroblasts through the sonic hedgehog pathway can trigger hair growth not previously seen in wound healing,” said study senior investigator and cell biologist Mayumi Ito, PhD.

(Getty Images)

Researchers conducted these experiments on mice over a three-year period and are planning future investigations on wounded human skin. Dr Ito says her goal is to identify likely drug targets for hair regrowth.

Which is good news for anyone hoping for a little more coverage on their chrome dome.

Although we personally think beloved celebrities like Danny Devito, Jason Alexander, Terry Crews, and Bruce Willis are perfect the way they are without the help of a stimulated sonic hedgehog.

[“source=cnbc”]

Potential new cure found for baldness

A bald man

A potential new cure for baldness has been discovered using a drug originally intended to treat osteoporosis.

Researchers found the drug had a dramatic effect on hair follicles in the lab, stimulating them to grow.

It contains a compound which targets a protein that acts as a brake on hair growth and plays a role in baldness.

Project leader Dr Nathan Hawkshaw told the BBC a clinical trial would be needed to see if the treatment was effective and safe in people.

Only two drugs are currently available to treat balding (androgenetic alopecia):

  • minoxidil, for men and women
  • finasteride, for men only

Neither is available on the NHS and both have side-effects and are not always very effective, so patients often resort to hair transplantation surgery instead.

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  • Early baldness higher heart disease risk factor than obesity, says study
  • Baldness research ‘creates a new hair follicle’

The research, published in PLOS Biology, was done in a lab, with samples containing scalp hair follicles from more than 40 male hair-transplant patients.

The researchers, from the University of Manchester, first latched onto an old immunosuppressive drug, cyclosporine A, used since the 1980s to prevent transplant organ rejection and reduce symptoms of autoimmune disease.

The scientists found that the drug reduced the activity of a protein called SFRP1, a key growth regulator that affects many tissues including hair follicles.

But because of its side effects, CsA was unsuitable as a baldness treatment.

The team went on to look for another agent that targeted SFRP1 and found that WAY-316606 was even better at suppressing the protein.

Dr Hawkshaw said the treatment could “make a real difference to people who suffer from hair loss”.

What causes hair loss?

Hair loss is a daily occurrence and generally nothing to worry about. Some types are temporary and some are permanent.

You should see a doctor because of:

  • sudden hair loss
  • developing bald patches
  • losing hair in clumps
  • head itching and burning
  • worry about hair loss

Source: NHS Choices

[“Source-bbc”]