NAAF Response to New Hair Growth Study Findings

Oct 21, 2013

You may have heard the latest news on a study released by Columbia University and the University of Durham that is being discussed by some reporters as a new cure for baldness.  We’d like to clarify that, although this may revolutionize the medical treatment of some kinds of hair loss, it is not intended or expected to be effective for alopecia areata.

When we spoke with the lead researcher at Columbia, Angela Christiano, Associate  Professor of Molecular Dermatology and a leading figure in the field of alopecia areata research, she shared the following:

“We think of this discovery of regenerating human hair follicles as an advancement in using regenerative medicine – or using the body’s own cells - to restore their hair.  However, this approach will likely not be developed as a treatment or cure for alopecia areata, since it does not address the autoimmune mechanism(s) that causes the hair to fall out in patients with alopecia areata.

If someone with alopecia areata were to undergo a procedure to regenerate human hair follicles, the new hair would very likely fall out again due to the autoimmune nature of the disease.  It is for this same reason that hair transplant surgery is also not recommended for alopecia areata.

Our work on Alopecia Areata genetics and immunology is moving ahead at full speed and continues to be a major focus of both our basic science and clinical research."

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