Here is good news for those with thinning hair. Scientists have identified a gene that prevents regeneration of hair. Thus, people who are losing their hair now may have hope as this research could help in the development of medicine to inhibit this hair loss gene.
Generally, a healthy individual loses around 100 hairs daily and this is alright if most of them are replaced. The problem begins when the hair shedding goes beyond the limit and replacement lags.
Now in the latest development after six long years of research, scientists at the University of Bonn have identified a gene that causes a rare hereditary form of hair loss known as Hypotrichosis simplex.
The defective gene was found to inhibit receptor structures on hair follicle cells from forming correctly. Such receptors play a specific role in hair growth that was previously unknown to anyone.
As part of the study, a Saudi Arabian family with Hypotrichosis simplex was examined by dermatologist Khalid Al Aboud of the King Faisal Hospital in Makkah.
DNA samples from the parents and from nine of their 10 children – including four sufferers – were analysed, providing the researchers the key to understanding some of the fundamental mechanisms of hair growth and loss.
The researchers now hope that this individual genetic case will lead to developments that can benefit more patients.
‘Although Hypotrichosis simplex is uncommon, it may prove critical in our search to understand the mechanisms of hair growth,’ said project leader Regina Betz.