A team at the New York School of Medicine claim to have identified a key process in regenerating hair follicles using the processes involved in wounded skin. Moreover, they claim it could lead to a cure for androgenetic alopecia, or pattern baldness as it is better known. We look closer.
The Crucial Sonic Hedgehog Signal
A team of scientists at New York’s highly respected School of Medicine, led by Dr. Mayumi Ito, have been working on improving the options for sufferers of the most common form of hair loss, male or female pattern baldness of the type we inherit from our parents. The current FDA approved medications both come with significant and worrisome side-effects, one is not even available to women… who are left with nothing more efficacious than a topical treatment.
So there is undoubtedly a massive hole in the market waiting for the right product to achieve approval.
As unlikely as it sounds there is a neural pathway in the brain called Sonic Hedgehog. It is seen to be highly active while babies are in the womb, the point in our journey where all our hair follicles are being formed, but it becomes less well used as we get older or when the skin is damaged.
Looking at mice in the lab Dr. Ito’s team were looking at cells called fibroblasts which secrete collagen, the protein which makes up our hair and nails. Like the Sonic Hedgehog pathway, the collagen is known to be involved in the healing processes.
Their remarkable result was to see hair growing within 4 weeks of activating Sonic Hedgehog.
HIS Hair Clinic
Dr Ito has conducted no less than 34 research works to date and is fast becoming a doyenne among hair loss cure watchers. Her work is invariably meaningful and employing genuinely original approaches or techniques. If one person is going to be credited for finally getting us over the line for a hair loss cure, Dr. Ito is a strong candidate. We won’t be rushing out anytime soon to put a bet on it, of course, we have been doing this for far too long. Her teams work is still at its earliest stages and we will continue to monitor progress, hopefully they will swiftly move on to human trials.
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