Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Scientists A Step Closer to Treating Baldness

Scientists have moved a step closer to finding a treatment for baldness in men and women with the discovery that it is possible to grow new hair follicles from human skin cells. The new test results are the first breakthrough in 40 years of research into finding a way to regenerate the structures in the skin that cause hair to grow and could lead to radically different therapies for hair loss. Scientists have struggled for decades to to replicate human hair follicles in the laboratory, but the new techniques prove they can be stimulated to grow in skin tissue and made to produce hair shafts.

The researchers claim that instead of the current method of transplanting hair from another part of the body, patients' own skin could be used to produce an essentially never-ending supply of hair follicles for transplant operations.

One of the study's lead authors, Professor Angela Christiano of Columbia University said, "This approach has the potential to transform the medical treatment of hair loss. 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. Neither do conventional hair transplants...Our method, in contrast, has the potential to actually grow new follicles using patient's own cells."

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