Thursday, January 6, 2011

Combating Baldness

I know this is so silly, but I do worry about my kids losing their hair. Hopefully if they do, they will still look good and won't have emotional scars from it. A lot of men look good without hair. But what if one of them gets really upset about it? That thought made me key in on this story. Balding is such a common problem (and a really big deal for women) that I thought I should share this new research. Maybe by the time my oldest is in his 20s, there will be a real choice out there for people with thinning hair.

FROM NBC: Figuring out how to combat baldness and regrow hair may not be one of the most critical areas of medical research, but it's one of extremely high interest for millions of men - and women. Researchers may have discovered a key piece of the puzzle.
Bald made a comeback years ago. Some men even shaving their heads before hair departed on its own. but many other say they would give anything to re-grow their loches. Now doctors say a big breakthrough could make that possible. Dr. George Costarelis/Dermatologist: "This is definitely a step closer to finding a new way of treating hair loss."

While studying the cells of men undergoing hair transplants Dr. George Costarelis says he and his team made a surprising discovery.
Dr. George Costarelis: "Which is that if the scalp that's bald still has the same number of stem cells as the scalp that's not bald." The problem is, even though the stem cells exist they aren't producing a different kind of cell called a progenator cell.

Dr. George Costarelis: "These are the ones that are the work horse cells. They are constantly making the hair. Doctor Costarelis says he is hopeful researchers will find a way to turn the inactive cells back on.
Dr. George Costarelis: "We know the stem cells are present. They're not gone. If they gone it would be more difficult to design a treatment. But current treatments are very good at maintaining the hair you have. This one would be geared towards actually reversing hair loss. So even if you're bald, theoretically this would be able to activate the stem cells and get new hair to grow in."

Doctors don't know if baldness in women works the same way. Dr. George Costarelis: "Many of my patients are women, most of them actually are women and I would really like to be able to help them more than what I can currently. So in the future I want to figure out if these same priciples apply to female pattern hair loss."

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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