Research Finds Possible New Cure for Baldness
Scientists have found a potential new cure for baldness – using a compound originally intended to treat osteoporosis.
Cyclosporine A (CsA) has been used since the 1980s as an immunosuppressant, but researchers found that it was also effective at preventing hair loss. The drug suppresses the SFRP1 protein, which is responsible for slowing hair growth. However, its severe side effects made it unsuitable for use as a hair loss treatment.
Researchers at the University of Manchester’s Centre for Dermatology Research found that WAY-316606, a compound used to treat osteoporosis, had similar effects on hair growth minus the side effects. The 2018 study involved lab tests with over 40 human scalp hair follicle samples. After treating the samples with WAY-316606 the researchers found that the follicles began to grow again as a result of the compound’s suppressing effects.
However, further research is needed before it can be used as a hair loss treatment. Clinical trials on humans are needed to determine the drug’s long-term effectiveness and safety.
Almost everyone will experience some degree of hair loss throughout their lives, and around 2/3 of men will have male pattern baldness (androgenic alopecia) by the age of 35.
Those wanting to keep their hair have several options to choose from. Topical solutions like minoxidil often work by promoting hair regrowth, but they must be used consistently on an ongoing basis. Oral medication like finasteride helps to prevent hair loss but also must be taken long-term. Drug options may come with unwanted side effects such as dizziness, impotence and birth defects. Hair transplants provide a safer and permanent yet costly alternative to medication.
However, scientists have not yet found a sure-fire way to prevent or treat hair loss. This is in part due to the number of different types and causes of hair loss, which are still a bit of a mystery to scientists. Hair loss is affected by a range of environmental, hormonal and genetic factors, making it a challenge to research.
Yet this finding is considered a step in the right direction for scientists and it is believed that with further research, the compound may help a range of people experiencing unwanted hair loss. Clinical trials would need to look at the best way to administer the drug and what side effects (if any) it produces in humans.
Request a consult with one of our friendly doctors to find a hair loss treatment that is right for you.
by Instant Consult