A team at Massachusetts General Hospital has just announced the results of a recent study. While researching a possible new tool in the fight against the condition they have made an amazing hair loss discovery. We take a closer look.
Hair Loss Study
Sheraz Khan, Ph.D., lead author on the study, published his team’s work at the end of October. They had been investigating a property of hair, namely its ability to generate an electromagnetic field. Their plan was to compare that electric field on subjects with full heads of hair to others with alopecia. While reviewing their results they made an amazing hair loss discovery.
Currently, measuring the extent of our hair loss is best described as flawed. Not that we lack options. A dermatologist or trichologist will have any number of techniques to choose from. Global photography is popular. Less common is taking a phototrichogram unless you are taking part in a study. Daily hair counts, the wash test, and others are all good for getting a general picture but all have their drawbacks. Even the most accurate of them, the phototrichogram, requires a level of skill and experience to capture the images. Supported by even more expertise to interpret them correctly.
Hair Loss Study
But if the present methods for establishing, with any accuracy, the degree of hair loss, the future is bright.
Dr. Khan’s team used a device known as a magnetoencephalogram (MEG). This can be used to create visual interpretations of an electrical field. The Massachusetts team designed a helmet with a MEG built into it and used it to study 17 subjects.
Among those 17 subjects were 2 who exhibited alopecia. When the researchers studied the ‘map’ they made a stunning discovery. On those patients with alopecia, there was no electrical activity at all. It means that it is now potentially possible to measure the difference during a patient’s time with their professional.
As Dr. Khan puts it “This method provides a quantitative and objective assessment for the health of the hair follicles and can be used as a biomarker for the treatment of hair loss.”
HIS Hair Clinic
It seems strange that we have got this far in the fight against hair loss with no way of measuring it. Or its progress on an individual with anything but broad strokes, Norwood Scale anyone?
The team at Massachusetts General has made an important breakthrough. For the first time, hair professionals can look forward to a future where they can measure their success. In the research field, teams will be able to test the efficacy of new drugs and treatments with far greater accuracy.
Just one more important step on the way. Well done to Dr. Khan and his team.
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