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Natural History and Pathogenesis of Alopecia in Children and Adults

Study type: Research Studies Posting date: 05/22/2024 Last updated: 05/22/2024 Status: Recruiting Country: United States Eligibility:

Age 2 and up; diagnosis of immune-mediated alopecia link: Click here Location: Bethesda, MD


Background: Alopecia is the loss of hair or lack of hair growth. It is often related to an immune disorder that disrupts the growth of hair. Hair loss can affect a person s physical and mental health. The causes of alopecia are not well understood. This natural history study will examine causes of alopecia so better treatments can be developed.

Objective: To learn why some people have alopecia. This study will look at factors related to genes, the immune system, and the bacteria, viruses, and fungi that live on the skin.

Eligibility: People aged 2 years and older with immune-mediated alopecia that affects 50% of their scalp hair.

Design: Participants will have at least 1 visit to the clinic. Some will have follow-up visits once a year for up to 5 years. Each visit will last 2 to 4 hours.

Participants will have a physical exam. They will have blood drawn from a vein. They will answer questions about the medications they take, their allergies, and their family history. Photographs of their skin and scalp will be taken. Soft cotton swabs will be rubbed on their skin to pick up organisms that live there.

Two pieces of skin from the scalp will be cut away. The pieces will be no more than a quarter of an inch in size. The area will first be numbed with an injectable anesthetic. The wound will be closed with stitches or gel foam. The biopsy is optional in children younger than 12.

Participants will take a questionnaire about how hair loss affects their quality of life.

For more information, contact Monica Taylor, R.N. at 301-451-221 or by email at