Saturday July 21, 2018

A Drug That Can Potentially Cure Hair Loss

The only other option available to patients in such a situation is hair transplantation surgery.

0
//
37
The drug works by targeting a protein that inhibits the development and growth of many tissues, including hair follicles, said the study published in the journal PLOS Biology.
Hair Transplant Representational Image, Pixabay
Republish
Reprint

There is new hope for bald people to get back hair without going for transplantation as researchers have found that a drug originally developed to treat the bone disease, osteoporosis, stimulates hair growth.

The drug works by targeting a protein that inhibits the development and growth of many tissues, including hair follicles, said the study published in the journal PLOS Biology.

“The fact this new agent, which had never even been considered in a hair loss context, promotes human hair growth is exciting because of its translational potential: it could one day make a real difference to people who suffer from hair loss,” said project leader Nathan Hawkshaw from The University of Manchester in Britain.

The researchers found that the compound WAY-316606, which was originally developed to treat osteoporosis, has a dramatic stimulatory effect on human hair follicles.

The researchers said that the few drugs which are currently available for treatment of male-pattern balding have moderate side effects and often produce disappointing hair regrowth results.

The only other option available to patients in such a situation is hair transplantation surgery.

The researchers, therefore, sought to develop new ways to promote human hair growth.

The approach was to first identify the molecular mechanisms of an old immunosuppressive drug, Cyclosporine A (CsA).

There is new hope for bald people to get back hair without going for transplantation as researchers have found that a drug originally developed to treat the bone disease, osteoporosis, stimulates hair growth.
Drug to treat hairloss, Pixabay

Cyclosporine A has been commonly used since the 1980s as a crucial drug that suppresses transplant rejection and autoimmune diseases.

However, it often has severe side-effects, the least serious — but most interesting — of which is that it enhances cosmetically unwanted hair growth.

The team carried out a full gene expression analysis of isolated human scalp hair follicles treated with CsA.

This revealed that CsA reduces the expression of SFRP1, a protein that inhibits the development and growth of many tissues, including hair follicles.

The inhibitory mechanism is completely unrelated to CsA’s immunosuppressive activities, making SFRP1 a new and highly promising therapeutic target for anti-hair loss strategies.

The researchers then found that the compound WAY-316606, which was originally developed to treat osteoporosis, targets the same mechanism as CsA by specifically antagonising SFRP1.

When they treated hair follicles with WAY-316606, the unrelated agent also effectively enhanced human hair growth like CsA.

Also Read: HPV Vaccines Are Effective, Especially For Teens

This led the researchers to conclude that external application of the osteoporosis compound or similar compounds to balding human scalp may promote hair growth to the same magnitude as CsA or even better, but without its side effects.

“We were able to conduct our experiments with scalp hair follicles that had generously been donated by over 40 patients and were then tested in organ cultures,” Hawkshaw said.

“This makes our research clinically very relevant, as many hair research studies only use cell culture,” he said, adding that a clinical trial is required next to tell us whether this drug or similar compounds are both effective and safe in hair loss patients. (IANS)

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2018 NewsGram

Next Story

HIV Drug Is Not Linked to Depression: Study

A new study of a popular HIV drug could ease concerns about its link to depression

0
A doctor draws blood from a man to check for HIV/AIDS at a mobile testing unit in Ndeeba, a suburb in Uganda's capital, Kampala.
A doctor draws blood from a man to check for HIV/AIDS at a mobile testing unit in Ndeeba, a suburb in Uganda's capital, Kampala. VOA

A new study of a popular HIV drug could ease concerns about its link to depression. Researchers in Uganda found that efavirenz, once feared to lead to depression and suicide, did not cause the expected negative side effects in their patients.

Efavirenz is an affordable, once-a-day pill used around the globe to treat and prevent HIV/AIDS. It’s “the treatment of choice” in most of the world, according to Africa Health Research Institute’s Mark Siedner, “especially [in] countries that depend on global aid to treat HIV.”

But some fear that efavirenz may come with a cost.

Some studies in the United States and Europe found the drug increased patients’ risk of depression or suicide, although other studies did not.

The mixed results prompted many doctors in the United States to prescribe more expensive but potentially safer drugs.

Siedner wanted to take another look at the risk of depression, this time in an African population. From 2005 until 2015, he and a team of Ugandan and U.S. doctors tracked 694 patients who took either efavirenz or another antiretroviral medication. They regularly asked the patients whether they experienced depression or suicidal thoughts.

No difference

Their analysis, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, showed there was no difference between the two treatments. Siedner told VOA, “In other words, efavirenz was not associated with a risk of depression. If anything, there seems to be a signal that potentially it was associated with a decreased risk. But it wasn’t a strong enough [signal] for us to say that.”

The authors also reported that of the 17 participants who died in the course of the study, not a single death was a suicide.

Siedner has two possible explanations for why their findings differed from those in Western countries. “One potential cause is that every single ethnic group in the world, of course, is different, and different in many different ways — different socially, different environmentally, and in this case they may be different genetically.” His team is looking at whether the genes that control metabolism of the drug have a role to play in this story.

HIV Aids is a deadly disease.
HIV virus is Not Linked To Depression. Flickr

A second explanation could be the effectiveness of the drug. Because efavirenz is so potent, it could be keeping people healthier than they expected, so patients are less likely to report negative emotions.

The study is important, said Anthony Fauci, who heads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, because it pushes back against “the initial observation of suicidal ideation and suicide and depression” as caused by efavirenz. He told VOA, “I think now what you’re seeing is that with these conflicting reports, it’s likely someone will come in [with] the proposal to do a randomized study and take a look. So the story isn’t ended with this paper.”

As more research on the safety of efavirenz is conducted, new and cheaper drugs that might replace it are on the horizon. One of them, dolutegravir, might also pose a risk, however. A study in Botswana found dolutegravir was linked to neural tube defects in embryos, meaning it might not be safe for pregnant women. As always, further research is needed to confirm whether this is a common problem or specific to the population studied in Botswana.

Also read: UNAIDS : World Is At A “Defining Moment” In A Battle Against HIV/AIDS

“I think the whole field right now is in a bit of a holding pattern,” Siedner said when asked about dolutegravir and the future of HIV medication. (VOA)