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Elham AbolFateh

Health

Existing drug may be the answer to hair loss

Wednesday 09/May/2018 - 01:49 PM
Sada El Balad
Sometimes، the answer to a difficult problem may come from an unexpected direction. In this instance، researchers have found that a drug designed to treat osteoarthritis might also combat baldness.
Hair loss can be incredibly distressing for men and women alike.

Consequently، for many years، scientists have made efforts to find a way to combat it.

Over the centuries، in the hunt for a hair loss cure، no path has been left untrodden — no matter how unusual.

For instance، in Ancient Egypt، where premature baldness was thought to be a punishment from the gods، one remedy involved rubbing goat dung into the scalp.Medics Today said.

Because goats never lose their hair، this treatment was supposed to trick the gods into believing that the afflicted individual was، in fact، a goat.

Thousands of years later، the options are still limited; there are now two available hair-loss drugs — minoxidil and finasteride — both of which have mixed results and some unpleasant side effects، including allergic reactions، erectile dysfunction، and، paradoxically، hair loss.

The other option is hair transplantation surgery، which is costly، long-winded، and painful.

Searching for a better option
Dr. Nathan Hawkshaw and colleagues، from the University of Manchester's Centre for Dermatology Research in the United Kingdom، are involved in an ongoing search for a drug to fill this pharmaceutical void.

On this quest، they assess existing drugs that are known to be well tolerated. They hope to find a compound that is already safe for human use that may also be useful in treating androgenetic alopecia، which is also known as male-pattern baldness (although it can affect women، too).

One drug that piqued their interest was an immunosuppressive called cyclosporine A (CsA). It has been used to help prevent the rejection of transplants since the 1980s. And، one of CsA's side effects is unwanted hair growth.

Dr. Hawkshaw took this as his starting point. If they could understand the mechanism at work، it might provide a novel approach to treating hair loss.

Using isolated human scalp hair follicles، they found that CsA reduced the expression of a protein called SFRP1. This protein is known to inhibit the growth of tissues، including hair follicles.

This explains why CsA promotes hair growth; it effectively takes the brake off of follicle activity. It also offers up a new mechanism to exploit.

Edited by rehab sayed

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