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Drug shows promise for hair loss condition
Scientists believe they may have discovered something revolutionary that could help the thousands of people with thinning hair, hair loss and alopecia...
Scientists in America have discovered a possible new treatment for hair loss, sparking hope that those people who've lost their hair will one day find a solution.
147 million worldwide have or will develop alopecia areata at some point in their lives. This is the most common form of alopecia and it is thought to be caused by an autoimmune condition that encourages the body to treat the hair follicles as foreign invaders, like viruses and bacteria. As a result the body attacks the hair, causing it to fall out in round patches.
There are other, less common versions of alopecia too. Alopecia totalis is a condition that causes complete loss of hair on the scalp, while alopecia universals can lead to loss of hair on the scalp and the entire body.
No matter how widespread the hair loss, hair follicles in alopecia sufferers remain alive and they are ready to grow more hair. The problem is that signals don't reach the hair follicles and they stay in a state of sleep.
It is this that intruiged Colombia University Medical Centre scientists, who now believe they've found something that could help with hair loss!
The team found that 75% of people who took a new drug, ruxolitinib, reported significant hair regrowth.
Pictures of the treatment appear to show dramatic results, with some male patients regaining a their hair within a period of four months. Take a look at the picture above as an example from the study.
During the trial, 12 patients were given 20mg of oral ruxolitinib twice a day for between three and six months.
The study found that nine had hair regrowth of 50% or more, with seven of those patients achieving 95% regrowth by the end of the treatment period.
So how does it work?
Ruxolitinib restrains a family of enzymes known to attack hair follicles in alopecia patients, and reawakens the dormant follicles to help hair to grow again.
Although this isn't being hailed as a miracle cure for everyone with hair loss, it does mean the scientific community is one-step closer to helping those living with alopecia and baldness.
This drug isn't available to buy yet, but we look forward to seeing how it develops in the future.