Sat 18 Aug 2007
There may be hope for a cure for hair loss!
According to scientists studying mice, it may be possible to grow new hair follicles. Recent research findings by scientists such as George Cotsarelis, MD and Mayumi Ito, PHD (both doctors associated with the University of Pennsylvania) demonstrate that mice can grow new hair follicles during their wound healing process. During this healing process, mice release a protein called wnts. These wnts proteins when added to mature skin cells, gave rise to new hair follicles as if they were acting like embryonic skin cells.
Further experimentation was performed by introducing additional wnt proteins to the wounds. The introduction of additional wnt proteins caused the skin to regenerate and increase the number of hair follicles in the area. Alternatively blocking wnt proteins stopped the production of new hair follicles.
Doctors studying wnts state that it’s possible that wnts protein may not only be able to grow new hair follicles, but revolutionize the healing of skin and significantly reduce scarring.
We must remember, however, that although wnt proteins may facilitate growth of new hair follicles, these follicles will have the same genetic characteristics of the follicles in the area in which they were generated. This means, that these follicles, may also be susceptible to Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and therefore also be at risk for hair loss.
More research is clearly needed about wnts before we can conclude this will actually work in people. Furthermore, since these new hair follicles produced are also at risk of being lost, scientists will need to consider this when coming up with hair loss treatment solutions.
But this research gives us ground for hope, that one day; there may actually be a cure for hair loss.
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