New cure for baldness?

New cure for baldness?

If you’re one of the millions of Americans experiencing hair loss, you may be in luck. Experts believe they have found a new way to treat baldness using a person’s own cells.

In a new study, researchers at Columbia University Medical Center harvested dermal papillae – cells inside the base of human hair follicles — from seven men and cloned them in tissue culture.  After a few days, they injected those cells into human skin that had been grafted onto the backs of lab mice.

Five out of the seven grafts grew new hair follicles that lasted at least six weeks. A DNA analysis confirmed that the follicles were indeed human and a genetic match with the donors’.

The success is encouraging since the current treatment options for men and women experiencing hair loss are slim, researchers said.

“Current hair-loss medications tend to slow the loss of hair follicles or potentially stimulate the growth of existing hairs, but they do not create new hair follicles,” said study c0-leader Dr. Angela M. Christiano, in a news release. “Our method, in contrast, has the potential to actually grow new follicles using a patient’s own cells.”

Since this new approach requires very few existing hairs in order to work, it could make hair transplantation available to more patients, said researchers. This includes women with hair loss, who tend to have insufficient donor hair, as well as men in the early stages of baldness, individuals with scarring alopecia, and those with hair loss due to burns.

So far, the new technique has only been tested in mice. More work needs to be done before the method can be tested in humans, researchers said, but they are optimistic for clinical trials to begin in the near future.

“This approach has the potential to transform the medical treatment of hair loss,” said Dr. Christiano.

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Comments

5 Comments

  1. Please explain why exactly baldness is considered a medical problem. Has anyone ever died of baldness.

    If all the money spend on researching a “cure” for baldness (as if baldness is a disease) had been spent on other real disease cure research, the world would be a much better place.

    I’m bald and frankly love it. I save on the cost of shampoo, conditioner, and haircuts!

    BTW, if the so called “cure” is found, will Obamacare or Medicare pay for it? If so, what a waste of taxpayer dollars.

    • Oh, you don’t mind being bald, but women DO MIND!! So speak for yourself! And if Obamacare does pay for it, all the better!!

  2. As a past user of “hair tonics” that will grow some fizz it is very encouraging to hear that help is on the way for those of us with either bald patches or bald spots on our domes, even though I am now to old for any wishy-washy cures or treatments. It’s funny though that a University was the originator of a cure for baldness, as if they were trying to make money off their product for the betterment of mankind? I think not. If I donated large sums to this University I would have second thoughts about continuing. We need medical not cosmetic research.

  3. Hi Joe Green, Hair is considered as a beauty in men and women. You are exceptional case that doesn’t care if you have baldness, but hair loss can have devastating effects on the affected person. Especially on females as hair loss may disturb them emotionally and there is chance to loss their self confidence as well.

  4. Yes, i agree with Mary smith. Women do mind being bald, of course most of the men too. Losing hair is such a painful thing for women. And it is really good to hear this news about the success of the research on hair growth. Waiting for the treatment.:-)

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.