An inevitable part of the ageing process is the increasing propensity to gain weight and lose hair. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a single treatment to fix both of these problems? Well it may just be that this double result is around the corner with clinical trials about to take place in the United States.
Dr Jeffrey Epstein, MD, FACS is currently carrying out the trial at his practice in Miami after an approach by Kerastem, a Californian company who have been developing the technology. Epstein is regarded as one of the top five hair restoration experts in the US so when he’s involved in this kind of trial it’s worth paying attention.
Lose weight and gain hair at the same time!
The process involves using stem cells which are harvested from the patient’s own fat. The two stage procedure starts with body sculpting liposuction to gather large quantities of fat cells. These are then processed and injected into the scalp to promote hair growth. Epstein looking for 70 relatively fit individuals with a moderate degree of hair loss who are about 15 to 20 pounds overweight for trials that will start at the end of the summer.
Early days still?
There is a sound basis for believing that stem cells could hold the secret to effectively combating hair loss. Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania published study results in January 2014 in which human stem cells were used to regrow skin and hair on mice.
Whilst the team reservedly claimed the research showed “promise” for eventually working on humans they were also keen to point out that the process was still incomplete as only part of the structure of hair could be recreated.
It might just be possible that in the interim Kerastem have solved the whole problem and we’ll watch Dr Epstein’s progress with interest.