A Possible Cure for Alopecia Areata?
The Initial Research Into a Possible Cure for Alopecia Areata Looks Very Promising
Is your bald or thinning hair causing anxiety, depression and depriving you of self confidence? Our culture views hair as a sign of youth and vitality, your hair is part of your identity. For patients suffering from alopecia areata, the autoimmune disease that can cause hair loss, a glimmer of hope is on the horizon.
Most drugs on the market simply prevent losing what hair you have left. What sufferers of alopecia areata desire more than anything is new hair growth. Would you take a pill in order to re-grow your own hair? Ruxolitnib, a drug used to treat myelofibrosis, which is a serious bone marrow disorder, could possibly do just that. According to researcher’s three fortunate people who suffered from alopecia areata experienced re-growth of their own hair after taking ruxolitnib daily for only four to five months. Researchers discovered a specific set of T-Cells responsible for attacking the hair follicle. It is possible to use targeted drugs called JAK inhibitors to stop this process. Two FDA-approved JAK inhibitors ruxolitinib and tofacitinib were tested on balding mice with alopecia. The drugs effectively stopped the attack of T-Cells on hair follicles. After 12 weeks of treatment the drugs completely restored the hair on the mice. The three participants in this study experience similar results in the re-growth of their own hair.
More clinical studies are needed to thoroughly test the drugs effectiveness in a larger number of patients; however Angela M. Christiano, Associate Professor of molecular dermatology and genetics at Columbia University Medical Center in New York stated “We believe this is a very exciting step forward for the treatment of alopecia areata.” The possibility to offer a solution in the future to those who suffer from alopecia areata to actually grow their own hair back is thrilling. We eagerly await the results of the next, larger clinical trials.