Baldness may soon be treated, new study shows

In a new study led by the University of Melbourne, researchers found that baldness caused by alopecia areata could soon be treated safely and effectively

The study found two new drugs are safe and effective

Currently, there has been no effective treatment for the debilitating condition.

It causes patchy hair loss and affects up to 147 million people globally. About 15% of people with the condition experience total or universal hair loss.

The current study evaluated the efficacy and safety of two drugs known as Janus Kinase (JAK) Inhibitors, PF-06651600 and PF 06700841, in alopecia areata over 24 weeks.

It involved patients aged 18-75 with chronic and moderate to severe alopecia areata affecting their scalp.

The treatment program found both medications were effective, well tolerated by patients and safe. While promising, the results are yet to be peer reviewed or published.

The researchers said the new molecules used in the trial drugs had also been tested for atopic dermatitis, but this was the first trial conducted in alopecia.

The latest results were potentially life-changing for those living with alopecia. The new drugs inhibited alopecia’s progression and allowed hair to regrow.

But the researchers also mentioned that several patients in the trial experienced adverse events, including infections, gastrointestinal and skin/subcutaneous tissue problems.

Several studies have linked various cytokines, and the receptors or molecules involved in their chemical reactions, to immune-mediated and inflammatory diseases.

Therefore, cytokine function modulation has been the focus of intensive research and drug development.

Drugs targeting cytokines or their receptors have become the main weapon of physicians dealing with autoimmune diseases such as alopecia areata.

The findings are presented at the 27th Congress of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology in Paris on Saturday, 15 September.

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Source: University of Melbourne.