Articles Tagged with: research

Is Baldness Linked with Aggressive Prostate Cancer?

Is Baldness Linked with Aggressive Prostate Cancer?Men who exhibit signs of balding may want to consider having a prostate exam sooner, rather than later. According to a new study published by the Journal of Clinical Oncology in late 2014, men who showed certain signs of baldness were more likely to develop an aggressive form of prostate cancer.

In the study, researchers point to two specific signs of baldness that men around age 45 should watch: Thinning frontal hairlines, and balding crowns. Based on the research, men who exhibited these signs of hair loss were up to 40% more like to develop prostate cancer compared to men of the same age who still had a full head of hair.

Diagnosis with the Norwood Classification

The Norwood Scale is a common method of diagnosing male pattern baldness. The scale maps the typical progression of hair loss in men, beginning with the slightest signs of thinning at the temporal regions (see Stage 1 below). In this study, the men who experienced a 40% greater risk of prostate cancer were classified as a Stage 3 or higher, using the chart above.

Is there cause for concern? According to one physician, the findings are probably not coincidental. However, more studies are needed to get a better idea of exactly how balding and prostate cancer might be linked. “The evidence is too provisional,” says Dr. Michael Cook, a senior study author and a National Cancer Institute (NCI) investigator. “We think that certain factors, such as genetics and male hormones, may underlie both [conditions]” (i).

Hair Loss Evaluation

For more information on hair loss evaluations in Miami, contact the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami at 305-925-0222.

Sources

(i) http://www.forbes.com/sites/jonfortenbury/2014/09/16/a-specific-form-of-baldness-linked-to-aggressive-prostate-cancer/

Hair loss and Lou Gehrig’s Disease: Are They Related?

Is Early Balding a Sign of Lou Gehrig's Disease? A new study has early hair loss sufferers looking in the mirror with added caution. According to a new study of more than a half million men who ranged in age from mid 40s to early 80s, signs of early balding or hair loss might be tied with the onset of Lou Gehrig’s disease.

For men, the new study provides a much needed wake-up call to be proactive in monitoring their own scalp for signs of early balding, as well as seek the guidance of a certified medical professional should signs of hair loss be detected. As for researchers, the team behind the new study says their findings might provide valuable insight for Lou Gehrig’s disease research, a relatively mysterious neurodegenerative condition that adversely affects an estimated 30,000 Americans (i).

Exploring the Link Between Lou Gehrig’s Disease and Hair Loss

The link between Lou Gehrig’s disease, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and hair loss was discovered after researchers performed a longitudinal study that compared the hair lines of men at two distinct stages in life: Mid-forties (age 45), and early sixties (age 61).

The study began with researchers asking men to describe the state of their hair at age 45. After polling more than 500,000 men, researchers found that men exhibited hair loss in the following proportions:

  • 44% of men reported no balding at age 45.
  • 42% of men reported moderate balding at age 45.
  • 14% reported extensive balding at age 45.

Sixteen years later, researchers examined the same group of participants for signs of ALS. The results were as follows:

  • 11 of those who reported extensive balding at age 45 had developed ALS.
  • 13 of those who reported no balding at age 45 had developed ALS.
  • As a result of these findings, researchers were able to determine that individuals who experience early signs of balding are up to 3 times more likely to develop ALS.

Researchers are quick to warn that there is no need to panic, however.

“This doesn’t mean that bald people should worry,” explains Elinor Fondell, the author of the study and a researcher at the Harvard School of Public Health (ii).

Despite the correlation, it’s important to note that at least 13 individuals who were surveyed had “no balding” at age 45 yet developed ALS by age 61. In light of these outliers, researchers believe a thorough series of follow-up studies are needed to more conclusively determine how hair loss might be related to Lou Gehrig’s disease, if at all.

How to Detect Male Hair Loss

Hair loss affects an estimated 20 million or more American men. While researchers need more time to determine how hair loss and Lou Gehrig’s disease are related, there is compelling evidence suggesting that hair loss might lead to hypertension and other cardiovascular system issues.

To detect hair loss, men as early as 20 years of age can do the following:

  1. Monitor for signs of hair accumulation in the shower (along the rim of the tub, drain, and personal hygiene products)
  2. Examine hair accumulation on combs and hairbrushes. Some accumulation is normal, however extensive accumulation could be a sign of thinning, shedding, or pattern baldness.
  3. Check your pillow for hairs in the morning.
  4. Familiarize yourself with the Norwood Classification to better understand what each stage of male pattern baldness looks like.

This health report has been produced by the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami. For additional information on our Institute, including hair loss evaluation and consultation services, readers are invited to contact our office directly at 1-877-443-9070.

Sources:

(i) “Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Fact Sheet.” National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Accessed 23 August 2013.

(ii) “Early Balding Might be Linked with Lou Gehrig’s Disease.” Live Science. Accessed 23 August 2013.

Fgf9 Protein Might Hold Cure for Baldness, Study Finds

Fgf9 Protein Might Hold Cure for Baldness, Study FindsResearchers at the University of Pennsylvania have made a surprising discovery that has the potential to make hair loss worries a thing of the past. The news is particularly exciting for some 500 million men and nearly 20 million women who suffer with thinning, shedding, or balding, as it may hold the key to permanently reversing the signs of hair loss.

Men and women who suffer with hair loss will have to wait for this new study to produce an effective cure, however. The research is based solely on trials conducted with laboratory mice, and extensive follow-up research and clinical trials are needed before hair transplant surgeons can hope to offer such a treatment to patients.

Fibroblast Growth Factor 9 (Fgf9) and Hair Follicle Growth

While studying the wound healing process in laboratory mice, researchers at the Department of Dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania found that a specific type of immune system cell could be the key to curing baldness. The cell, called gamma-delta (γδ), produces a vital protein during the healing process. That protein, fibroblast growth factor 9 (Fgf9), also appears to fuel the growth of hair follicles.

It is important to note, however, that the human immune system differs from that of mice. Specifically, humans are markedly deficient in gamma-delta cells. This fact has led researchers to speculate that lack of gamma-delta cells is the reason why humans might experience difficulty regenerating hair in areas where a wound has healed.

George Cotsarelis, M.D., served on the University of Pennsylvania research team that conducted this groundbreaking study. As lead author, Dr. Cotsarelis made the following statement in a press release issued by the Perelman School of Medicine:

“The findings help explain why humans don’t regenerate their hair after wounding. The study also points us to a way to treat wounds and grow hair,” (i).

Testing the Hypothesis: How Fgf9 Stimulates Hair Follicle Growth

Researchers tested the exciting new link between the protein Fgf9 and hair follicle growth by dividing laboratory mice into 2 groups: A control group, and a test group.

For the control group, researchers simply monitored the occurrence of hair growth during and after the wound healing process. For the test group, however, researchers reduced the expression of the Fgf9 protein. Test group mice exhibited a marked decline in hair growth, leading researchers to attribute the deficiency to a lack of Fgf9 protein.

As a follow up, researchers decided to test the opposite. When enhancing the expression of Fgf9, mice in the test group exhibited approximately 2-3 times the hair growth as those in the control group (ii). As a result, researchers have good reason to believe that Fgf9 plays a critical role in the development of new, healthy, fully functional hair follicles.

This health report has been produced by the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami. For additional information on our Institute, including hair loss evaluation and consultation services, readers are invited to contact our office directly at 1-877-443-9070.

Sources:

(i) “New Hope for Baldness Cure.” Medical Daily. Accessed 11 June 2013.

(ii) See above.