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by Robert MacKay, Monday, 26 March 2012 | Categories: Hair loss

Scientists in the US have discovered an unusual amount of protein, prostaglandin D synthase, in bald men and this, they hypothesize, may be a contributory factor in male pattern baldness. Drugs that act on this protein are already under investigation and a report detailing recent study evidence is published in Science Translational Medicine.

Research has targeted particular genes that are activated when men start to lose their hair and it has been found that levels of this protein were highest in the areas of the scalp that were without hair.

In mouse studies, those with higher levels of the protein had no fur at all. Human hairs that had been transplanted also stopped growing when this protein was administered. Identifying this protein as a growth inhibitor could mean another successful hair loss treatment for men. Researchers will now look at how they can target this protein and its action to stop hair loss and maybe even use this knowledge to create a treatment that works to regrow hair that has fallen out. The existing treatment, Propecia (finasteride), has a very high success rate but does not always result in regrowth, although the overall success rate of Propecia is high at around 89%.

It will be interesting to see if this research throws up a potential treatment for hair loss in women as well as there is currently nothing on the market that has a good rate of success in this demographic.





 
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