Researchers Discover New Genetic Links To Baldness

Researchers from England and Germany have discovered new links to male pattern baldness. This will be the second genetic connection that has been made when related to hair loss in the majority of men and a few women as they grow older. Felix F. Brockschmidt from the University of Bonn was one of the leading authors of the report that was published October 12th in the journal of Nature Genetics.

“The first gene known until now is on the X chromosome,” Brockschmidt said. “It is the most important for alopecia [hair loss]. We are sure that this new locus we found is the second most important.” This new discovery may open up new doors for genetic tests to find particular men who are most likely to lose their hair as they grow older. “Screening for the X chromosome locus and also for this new one can possibly show the risk of male pattern baldness,” Brockschmidt said.

Yet, this new research has not yet been able to point them to a way to prevent the hair loss in people with gene variants. There are certain pharmaceutical companies that are funding researches for genetic screening tests in hope that a cure will be found. These screening test look at the different variants of a gene that controls receptors for androgens. Androgens are male hormones.

Any type of cure is far in the future, Brockschmidt stressed. “As soon as we know the gene and how it functions, we can do something,” he said. “Right now, we have identified the locus but not the gene.”

October 13th, 2008 • tonks • News and Opinion Comments Off


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