Autoimmune Comorbidities among Alopecia Areata Patients and Family Members

PI Name: 
Lynn Petukhova, PhD
Pilot & Feasibility Grant


This project aims to estimate the prevalence and characterize the pattern of autoimmune comorbidities in the Alopecia Areata Registry, Biobank and Clinical Trials Network and to validate the relationships revealed by analyzing genetic evidence across autoimmune disorders.


It is known that having an autoimmune disease such as alopecia areata raises your risk of developing additional autoimmune diseases.  It also increases the risk that a family member will develop either the same or a related autoimmune disease.  However, it is difficult to define the risk in the absence of rigorous epidemiological studies that evaluate autoimmune disease experience in alopecia areata patients and their family members.  Furthermore, knowledge about which diseases are more likely to affect alopecia areata patients provides clues about which treatments can be ‘borrowed’ or repurposed from other diseases, providing a first step towards expanding  the repertoire of medications available to treat alopecia areata. 


Understanding the spectrum of other autoimmune diseases linked to alopecia areata may identify alopecia areata as a systemic disorder and could lead to new therapeutic targets for drug repurposing.


Lim CP, Severin RK, Petukhova L. Big Data Reveal Insights into Alopecia Areata Comorbidities. J Investig Dermatol Symp Proc. 2018 Jan;19(1):S57-S61. doi: 10.1016/j.jisp.2017.10.006.