Leading hair loss researcher, Angela Christiano, is once again hoping to make history with her new innovative research into androgenetic alopecia. Over 20 years ago, Christiano made history when she became the first person to identify a hair loss gene. She was also the person who discovered that JAK Inhibitors could potentially be used to treat all types of the Alopecia Areata condition.
Now, her latest research is looking at ways to prevent genetic hair loss, focusing on a revolutionary technique which involves growing your own hair follicles. The research has come on in leaps and bounds and is now preparing for human trials. Here, we’ll look at what the new research entails and whether it could provide hope for those looking for an androgenetic alopecia cure.
Understanding the new research
It is thought that humans have approximately 100,000 hair follicles, each capable of producing around 20 hairs in our lifetime. The body cannot create new follicles, so if they shrink and lose stem cells, the follicles will simply stop producing new hair. This is basically what happens with androgenetic alopecia.
As we age, our hair follicles do start to shrink. With no current cures available, once the hair follicles have shrunk, hair thinning, and hair loss starts to occur. Christiano is hoping to resolve this issue, growing hair follicles within the lab, then implanting them back into the scalp.
She has been working with leading UK biologist, Colin Jahoda, for more than two decades, providing their knowledge and expertise to aid in an intense study hoping to identify causes of male pattern hair loss. As there wasn’t a lot of evidence which could be used as a base for potential treatment options, the pair decided to approach it in an entirely different way, focusing on growing hair follicles which could be implanted into the scalp.
Human trials almost ready to begin
Christiano and Jahoda have focused their efforts on cloning a single donor hair. From that one hair, they are able to replicate many new follicles ready to be implanted into the scalp. So, it would work much like a hair transplant, but only just one viable hair would be required from a donor site.
The research carried out has so far shown promising results. The next stage is to move on to human trials. This is expected to happen over the next two to three years. Trials have so far been conducted on mice after being grown on artificial skin, and they have proven to work.
Could it prove to be an androgenetic alopecia cure?
Current results from the study have shown that this new technique could work to help tackle androgenetic alopecia. If the human trials go well, it would certainly be developed into a mainstream treatment over the next five years.
In the meantime, patients do have a number of options when it comes to treating androgenetic alopecia. Medications such as Minoxidil have proven effective at slowing down and controlling genetic hair loss.
If you are concerned you might be suffering from androgenetic alopecia, contact a hair specialist today. Treatments are available and they could help to significantly slow down the rate of hair loss and thinning.