November 21st, 2014
Ok not really… but thanks to a research break thru this week at the University of Pennsylvania, medical science is one step closer to solving the baldness puzzle. It all comes down to a protein, Prostaglandin D2 (PGD2), of which men with male-pattern-baldness have an abnormal amount. In both animal and human models, it was found that PGD2 and its derivative, 15-dPGJ2, keep hair from growing. Thanks to this discovery, researchers believe they may have found the pathway or potential target for hair growth treatment.
Male pattern baldness, which represents 95% of hair thinning for men, effects 8 out of 10 men under 70 years old. Baldness is known to vary between populations, with a connection to genetic background. Statistics from the United States show that 25% of men start balding at age 30, more than double that amount go bald at age 60.
The study was published in the journal Science Translational Medicine and quickly made headlines around the world. Researchers pointed out that the discovery of this common pathway could also prove useful for addressing baldness in women. The long dreamed of treatment for baldness seems one step closer, but still not here yet.
Source: UPenn News
Reference: L. A. Garza, Y. Liu, Z. Yang, B. Alagesan, J. A. Lawson, S. M. Norberg, D. E. Loy, T. Zhao, H. B. Blatt, D. C. Stanton, L. Carrasco, G. Ahluwalia, S. M. Fischer, G. A. FitzGerald, G. Cotsarelis, Prostaglandin D2 Inhibits Hair Growth and Is Elevated in Bald Scalp of Men with Androgenetic Alopecia. Sci. Transl. Med. 4, 126ra34(2012).
Photo: malehmann / flickr