Research news: Can an osteoporosis drug help to bring back hair growth?
Posted on 13th July 2018 at 17:56
Hair loss is a big worry for a lot of people and although significantly more common in men, many women also struggle with this demoralising condition. With 2 out of 3 men starting to lose their hair by age 35 it can be an upsetting and stressful time.
Treatments currently available often have unwanted side effects, and must be taken indefinitely to continue working. Another common treatment is Finasteride and again it's some way off being a miracle cure. The potential unwanted effects put a lot of people off from trying these medications, but with new research could an osteoporosis medication be the key to a safe and reliable cure?
First of all osteoporosis is a medical condition that weakens the bones, leading to increased chance of fractures and serious injury. The medication in question is widely regarded as safe with relatively few side effects, however it is not currently used in a hair loss treatment capacity. The discovery came about somewhat luckily; after analysing a medication known as Cyclosporine that is used to treat Crohn's Disease, scientists realised that one of the side effects was triggering of hair growth. Although with one of the other side effects being immune suppression, this medication isn't a viable hair loss treatment. By digging a little deeper it was realised that the medication triggered hair growth by affecting a protein labelled as SFRP1, the protein responsible for the suppression of hair growth.
Supplied with the new information, scientists began to look into other medication that can influence this particular protein with fewer side effects, leading them to an Osteoporosis medication; WAY-316606. After testing this medication on hair samples from patients undergoing hair transplants it was realised that it had a very similar affect on the protein SFRP1 as Cyclosporine. With the protein now suppressed, the test itself had the desired outcome and with some cases of hair growth being promoted in just 2 days, it gives hope to those suffering with hair loss.
Although the treatment shows promise, it is important to not get too carried away just yet. It's suggested that it will be years before WAY-316606 can be used as a viable treatment. The first issue is the fact it has only been used in a lab situation on hair samples and not on real people. In terms of the preliminary trials that have been done so far, they have been very small for a clinical trial with the initial lab test taking place on just 40 samples. There will certainly be a long road of clinical trials and data collection ahead to first and foremost ensure the medication is safe to use, as well as to identify any unforeseen side effects. The discovery does however show promise and means that more significant and appreciable help for hair loss may become a reality in the not-to-distant future, giving many hope and encouragement to be able to finally feel in control with this condition.
If you are considering a hair transplant or looking for further information, why not visit our dedicated page now?
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