Articles Tagged with: genetics
New Hair Loss Gene Discovered- APCDD1

New Research Reveals Over 250 Genetic Signals for Hair Loss

New Hair Loss Gene Discovered- APCDD1While male pattern baldness affects most older men, research on genetic predisposition to baldness has been minimal – until now. In a recent study published in the journal PLOS Genetics, a Scottish research team from the University of Edinburgh found nearly 300 genetic ties to hair loss, helping identify potential chromosomal markers of male pattern baldness.

The study analyzed over 52,000 male participants between the ages of 40 and 69-years-old. This is the largest genetic report on male pattern baldness to date.

“We identified hundreds of new genetic signals,” said Saskia Hagenaars, co-lead author of the study, in a news release. “It was interesting to find that many of the genetics signals for male pattern baldness came from the X chromosome, which men inherit from their mothers.”

Based on the genetic variants between a discovery sample (40,000 subjects) and a target sample (12,000 subjects) that distinguished patients with no hair loss and severe hair loss, the team developed an algorithm to forecast who may develop male pattern baldness. The higher the patients genetic (polygenic) score, the more likely they were to suffer from male pattern baldness. Among participants with a sub-median score, 14 percent showed severe hair loss while 39 percent had no hair loss. Meanwhile, 58 percent of patients who scored within the top 10 percent showed moderate-to-severe hair loss.

genetic hair loss

Fig 3. Distribution of hair loss by male pattern baldness polygenic score decile in the independent sample. Source: PLOS Genetics

For the most part, the genes identified are associated with hair structure and development. These findings could support early diagnosis and better treatment of male pattern baldness in the future.

 “We are still a long way from making an accurate prediction for an individual’s hair loss pattern,” said principal investigator Dr. Riccardo Marioni. “However, these results take us one step closer.”

As noted in the report, male pattern baldness affects approximately 80 percent of men by age 80. Balding can lead to substantial emotional issues, including diminished self-confidence, social isolation and depression. Past research has also linked baldness to an increased risk of prostate cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Download and read the full study here.

What Causes Hair Loss

What is Hereditary Hair Loss?

What Causes Hair LossThe majority of people notice hair loss as they age – beyond the standard 50-100 strands per day. Unfortunately, forecasting future hair loss because a grandparent or parent suffers from shedding or thinning locks isn’t always possible. In some cases, when hair loss takes shape, the condition is due to genetics. Male-pattern baldness and female-pattern baldness manifest in different ways, but both are classified as heredity conditions. However, predicting the severity of your impending hair loss can’t be done through looking at old photographs.

Hereditary Hair Loss

Hereditary hair loss typically begins in 20s and 30s. For women, the most apparent hair loss happens after menopause. Female-pattern hair loss is typically referred to as androgenetic alopecia, which is technically the same categorization as male-pattern baldness. However, male-pattern baldness takes a characteristic shape, which is why such phrasing is more commonly used.

Hair loss after a stressful life event or during pregnancy is short-term and therefore, not due to genetics. But hereditary hair loss that starts widespread and takes an obvious form is permanent.

Solutions

There are many treatments for hereditary hair loss, including minoxidil (Rogaine) and Finasteride (Propecia), but both are temporary solutions. Once use is discontinued, the regrowth effects disappear and patients lose the hair retained or restored from the medications.

The only permanent solution for hereditary hair loss is surgery. In the past, hair restoration surgery transplanted plugs of skin with up to 15 hairs. We do the procedure differently at the Miami Hair Transplant Institute through modernized techniques to achieve the most natural-looking results.

One such technique known to enhance results is Mosaic Hair Restoration. Through this process, qualified surgeons design the recipient site to mimic the unique follicular unit arrangement pattern natural to the scalp.

Follicular Isolation Technique (FIT) was co-developed by Dr. Rose and involves removing groupings of hair, called follicular units, individually. Using a tiny punch device, each donor hair is isolated and extracted. FIT eliminates an obvious linear scar and allows for faster healing methods compared to alternative methods of extraction. FIT is typically designated for patients who prefer to wear their hair short and who do not require many grafts.

Follicular Unit Grafting (FUG) is commonly referred to as “single strip harvesting” because the donor tissue is removed in one piece to preserve the follicular units and prevent damage to the individual hair follicles. Dr. Rose developed the LEDGE closure technique to minimize scarring from donor strip sites which we have now been practicing for years.

Through a personalized consultation, Dr. Rose and Dr. Nusbaum will determine which technique works best for you and your lifestyle. To get started on the path toward permanent hereditary hair loss reversal, contact us at 205-448-9100 or request an appointment online.

Are You Suffering with Senescent Alopecia?

Senescent alopecia is a specific type of age-related hair loss that affects both men and women. As we age, hair growth naturally tails off in two important ways. First, the total time spent growing new hair decreases. This means that hair follicles spend an increasing amount of time resting, or producing no new hair at all. Second, the diameter of each individual strand of hair gets smaller over time. This leads to the appearance of “thin” hair, making the scalp increasingly visible over the years.

These two characteristics are distinctly different from androgenic alopecia, or pattern baldness. Across genders, androgenic alopecia is estimated to cause more than 80 million individuals to lose their hair. Whereas senescent alopecia is not always treatable, androgenic alopecia can be treated in a number of different ways. Both surgical and non-surgical treatments are known to produce exceptional results.

Senescent Alopecia, or Androgenic Alopecia?

When first confronting hair loss, it’s important to understand whether it is age-related (senescent) or caused by hormones, genetics, and other factors (androgenic). Understanding the difference can help you find a hair loss professional and treatment regimen that will work with maximum efficacy.

Men and Alopecia

For men, one of the defining characteristics of androgenic alopecia is an increase in DHT, a synthesized version of testosterone. DHT contributes to hair follicle miniaturization, a phenomenon in which follicles shrink over time and lose their ability to support a regular growth cycle. Hair thins, sheds, and eventually stops growing entirely. Below are the most common ways to differentiate between androgenic and senescent alopecia:

Androgenic alopecia:

  • Characterized by heightened levels of DHT
  • High DHT might be caused by genetics and/or hormonal changes
  • Hair loss occurs in patterns, beginning with hairline and progressing back toward the crown of the head
  • Common among men as early as age 20, as late as age 50
  • Also referred to as male pattern baldness
  • Identified and diagnosed with the Norwood Classification

Senescent Alopecia:

  • Characterized by shorter grow time and thinning of hair radius
  • Appears thin, more scalp visible through the hair
  • Does not necessarily progress in a predictable pattern
  • Not necessarily defined by high levels of DHT (though men who suffer with pattern baldness early in life my retain high DHT levels through adulthood)
  • Common among men over the age of 50

Women and Alopecia

For women, the line between androgenic alopecia and senescent alopecia is a less easy to find. This is due to the fact that middle aged women experience hair loss in a much different way than middle aged men. Whereas male androgenic alopecia occurs in a predictable pattern, female androgenic alopecia occurs in diffuse manner that more closely resembles senescent alopecia. Below are the most common ways to differentiate between the two:

Androgenic Alopecia:

  • Can be characterized by high levels of DHT
  • DHT levels affected by genetics and hormonal changes
  • Pregnancy, birth control medications, and PCOS are 3 common causes for increased DHT production and hair loss
  • Common in women following the onset of puberty through age 40
  • Identified and diagnosed with the Ludwig Classification

Senescent Alopecia:

  • Not caused by DHT
  • Most common among women over age 60
  • Characterized by shorter grow time and thinning of hair radius
  • Appears thin, more scalp visible through the hair

Treating Alopecia at the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami

At the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami, we offer the most advanced and comprehensive hair loss evaluations to determine the root cause of hair loss in both men and women. To learn more, contact us online or call or clinic at 305-925-0222.