Lou Gehrig’s disease is a particularly rare condition, though scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health have discovered that it is, in part, related to male baldness. This disease, also known as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or ALS causes among other things, muscle atrophy and loss of motor skills. One of the more well-known sufferers of this disease is Stephen Hawking, who exceeded the life expectancy of the disease by several decades.
A thorough study of baldness
Fifty thousand American males between the ages of 46 and 81 were interviewed as part of a study on male pattern baldness. They were asked questions regarding their hairline at the age of 45, and asked to identify photos that most closely resembled their hair pattern.
A follow up study was conducted 16 years later, interviewing again 5,500 men who had been the baldest from the first study. 11 out of 16 men had signs of being affected by ALS disease. 13 out of 17 men that showed no balding at age 45 also suffered from Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Does that make hair loss an indicator of Lou Gehrig’s Disease?
The conclusion of the study indicated that individuals who experience early balding are three times more likely to show signs of ALS compared with those who have no hair loss. However, researchers prompted medics to gather more information for the study because some men showing no signs of baldness by age 45 still occasionally were diagnosed with ALS.
ALS is a rare condition with about 5,600 people a year being diagnosed in the States (out of a population of 317 million). Thus, although early hair loss is linked with ALSO, there can be many other causes.
A relatively common cause for male hair loss is Androgenic Alopecia. This is a hormonally based condition where Androgens in the scalp interact with hair follicles and prevent growth. It starts with a thinning and weakening of the hair, and eventually ends the growth completely.
Finding the correct treatment
Many medications have proven to be helpful with hair loss, and combined with a change in diet can be quite successful. When treating hair loss, earlier is better, and many men successfully halt the balding process.
Even with ALS there are potential effective methods but early treatment is important. Despite it’s rareness, an early correct diagnosis can help a person get the treatment methods needed for the specifics of this condition.
Most effective hair loss solutions
There are differing factors causing hair loss, and so, varying treatments to combat it as well as different factors that lead to a method’s effectiveness.
Home-based treatments are becoming more popular and accessible each year as well, but it’s important to do a lot of research into your particular hair loss situation and the products on the market. Not all methods that benefit from advertising have necessarily been researched or proven to be effective.
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