Articles Tagged with: Y chromosome
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.

Hereditary Hair Loss, Demystified

Hereditary Hair Loss, DemystifiedAsapSCIENCE is making a big splash on YouTube. With over 500,000 subscribers, the science-based YouTube channel promises to deliver a weekly dose of science and fun through a series of animated videos that attack and demystify some of life’s most thought provoking questions. From describing the science of aging to learning why the chicken really crossed the road, the producers at AsapSCIENCE seem committed to helping Internet users better understand life, one 2 minute video at a time.

Earlier this month, AsapSCIENCE produced an excellent video on the science behind the most common instance of hereditary hair loss. We’re excited to share this video with our readers and encourage everyone to take a look:

An Important Note: As mentioned at the conclusion of the video, the presence (or absence) of a hair loss gene on the X chromosome is just one of the contributors to hair loss. And while it is the most common, it is important to remember that researchers are continually finding new hair loss genes. The hair loss gene APCDD1, for example, was just recently identified by collaborative research conducted at Columbia, Rockefeller, and Stanford Universities.

Hair Loss: A Polygenic Trait

The myth that “hair loss is inherited from the mother’s side” is derived from hair loss research of the early 1900s. Though well intentioned and progressive at the time, researchers were limited in their ability to analyze all possible contributing factors exhibited by their subjects. In the past, researchers have taken a single gene approach to hair loss research, choosing only 1 gene to track, analyze, and compare across different groups of subjects (i). This eventually led to the belief that hair loss was caused by a single gene on the X chromosome (as described in the video above).

While it’s true that certain genes on the X chromosome may cause hereditary hair loss, we now know that there’s a much bigger picture to consider. Modern medical research has identified hair loss is a very complex condition that is actually polygenic, meaning that a number of genes can play a causal role in its development and progression. Moreover, such genes can be inherited from either parent.

Genes and Appearance: What Determines Expression?

To complicate matters further, genetics are not the only thing to impact the way in which hair loss becomes visible, or expressed. A number of other factors may contribute as well, including:

Age. As a man or women continues to age, the likelihood that a hair loss gene may begin to express itself may increase.

Hormones. The relative balance of certain hormones like estrogen, testosterone, and DHT may have a profound impact on the health of hair follicles. DHT, in particular, is known to cause hair miniaturization by impairing healthy follicular function. For women, birth control pills may cause hair loss by similarly disrupting the relative balance of estrogen to testosterone.

Stress. According to the American Hair Loss Association, there is an apparent link between stress and hair loss (ii). Stress seems to affect hair follicle biochemistry, which may cause the hair to enter into a “resting” phase prematurely. This can lead to Telogen Effluvium, specific type of stress-induced hair loss.

Seek a Professional Hair Loss Evaluation, Today

When it comes to reversing the signs of hair loss, early detection is ctritical. Patients trust the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami because we are home to South Florida’s most talented transplant surgeons and clinical team. We are proud to offer the most comprehensive approach for evaluating and treating hair loss—an approach that has produced countless success stories.

Hair Loss Evaluation & Treatment. Readers are invited to learn more by visiting our hair loss evaluation page online. For direct assistance, readers are invited to contact our clinic directly at (305) 925-0222.

Sources:

(i) “Hair Loss Genes.” Bernstein Medical. Accessed 25 March 2013.

(ii) “Effluviums.” American Hair Loss Association. Accessed 25 March 2013.

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