Men – wake up and take note! The days of worrying about losing your hair maybe coming to an end as U.S. researchers believe they may have found a cure for pattern baldness in males. In recent studies, they have isolated a protein which may trigger hair loss and believe that by targeting this pathway they might be able to reverse thinning hair in males or stop male baldness altogether. Imagine – a cream to prevent baldness sold in every WalMart and supermarket in the world!
The study published in Science Translational Medicine, found men who had a high level of a protein called prostaglandin D2 on their scalps were more likely to be bald. In fact, this protein and others similar in nature have been know to block hair growth in men. Baldness currently affects about 80% of men by the time they reach the age of 70. The author of the study, Dr. George Cotsarelis, a hair and scalp researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, is currently seeking a way to target the gene that triggers prostaglandin D2 protein. He told a BBC news reporter, “The next step would be to screen for compounds that affect this receptor and to also find out whether blocking that receptor would reverse balding or just prevent balding – a question that would take a while to figure out.”
Costarelis estimates that we could see such a drug hit the markets in five years. Already there are some items in clinical trials which hold promise as prostaglandin D2 protein blockers thus slowing down or preventing baldness altogether.
“The nice thing about dermatology and hair loss in general is that you can take compounds that maybe are being used as a pill and put them in a topical formulation. When you apply this to the scalp… you would allow hair to grow,” he said. “We could imagine using this compound topically would be a great treatment.”
This is all good news for those men who’ve suffered the frustration and often humiliation associated with hair loss. Previously their only recourse was to use Rogaine and Propecia (minoxidil) or attempt to hide under cheap hair pieces or expensive hair transplants. With the hope of a possible cure in five years or so, males everywhere are celebrating the work of Dr. Costarelis and this glimmer of hope where there previous was none.
Sources: CBS News, BBC News