Too Early to Tell, But Stem Cells May Be Key in Curing Baldness

Many people across the world suffer from hair loss. Many believe that men are the only ones who really have to experience it, but this is not the case. Women experience hair loss as well, although it is typically not quite as obvious. When someone is losing their hair, it can severely interfere with their self-confidence. This is why many people are interested in solutions and want to know the cost of hair transplant in Los Angeles.

Some people might wonder what the causes of sudden hair loss in males and females might be. Sometimes it can happen due to stress, although there are other potential causes as well. If someone is experiencing constant hair loss, they might want to see a doctor for some kind of treatment, such as an extreme hair fall treatment. Excessive hair loss men and women experience can be a serious issue.

In the United States alone, 35 million men are currently losing their hair. This figure encapsulates everything from finding a soggy clump in the shower drain to early alopecia, which can cause entire chunks of hair to fall out at a given time, to full-on genetic male pattern baldness. Today, nearly 40% of all men will have noticeable hair loss by the time they reach the age of 35. Worse yet, you can lose up to 50% of your hair by the time you begin to notice it at all.

But all is not lost, as a new report from CBS News tells us. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine may have found a way to eliminate baldness for good using a human being’s own skin cells. The proposed treatment is still in its very early stages and hasn’t even been tested using humans yet. However, early experiments conducted on mice have shown plenty of promise.

Here’s the breakdown, as reported in the Nature Communications journal in late January. Once the human skin cells were extracted, scientists converted them into stem cells that could generate follicles, in essence giving them the ability to regrow hair. Then, the researchers took these stem cells and transplanted them onto the mice, which eventually grew extremely small hairs themselves.

On an even more scientific level, the secret to hair regrowth lies in the induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPSCs. These are what the scientists create by adding three specific genes to regular skin cells. Once these iPSCs have formed, they become amazingly adaptable and can transform into other types of bodily cells should they need to. That opens up the possibility that these stem cells could be used to treat other types of skin damage issues as well, including accelerated wound repair and general cosmetic use.

Picture it: Stem cell-infused facial creams to help heal the cracks formed on your face from dryness!

As of right now, innovations like that are still a long way off. But this study is monumental because, as researcher Dr. Xiaowei “George” Xu pointed out in a press release, “This is the first time anyone has made scalable amounts of epithelial stem cells that are capable of generating the epithelial component of hair follicles.”

In other words, the results are nothing short of groundbreaking. But there’s still a long way to go before curing baldness altogether.

Dr. Xu mentioned epithelial cells, which are only one type of cells a hair follicle is made up of. The other kind, dermal papillae, is essential to regrowing hair on a cellular level, too. Until scientists can come up with an equally good method for engineering those cells, though, baldness is still a long, long way from being completely cured.

“Stem cells still have to be implanted, and they end up leaving people with a serious scar,” said Bryce Cleveland, Owner of Scalp Aesthetics. “With a procedure like scalp pigmentation, the results are immediate and permanent, and there are no scars left over that need to be camouflaged.”

It should be noted, too, that just because the mice have had success doesn’t necessarily guarantee the same results in humans. As such, baldness is still very much with us right now. But who knows what kind of promise future studies might hold?

Sources:
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/bye-bye-baldness-researchers-may-be-able-to-regrow-hair-using-existing-skin-cells/
http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/hair-loss/news/20140128/baldness-cure-may-have-inched-a-bit-closer
http://visual.ly/common-factors-trigger-baldness

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