Everyone has long been trying to cure a medical condition that affects millions of people around the world, mostly men: baldness.
Baldness can be triggered by specific drug therapies, such as cancer treatment, but in many other cases this condition occurs without a specific trigger.
By the age of 35, two thirds of men experience some degree of hair loss. From age 50 onwards, up to 85% of men will experience significant hair thinning.
Baldness does not affect health, but it can affect the self-esteem of those affected. There are various therapies and cures to counter baldness, but no definitive cure that can reverse the process. In other words, there is no cure for baldness. The one par excellence.
Baldness news, the turning point comes from Japan
Now, however, a team in Japan may have found a solution to restore hair growth. Not another of the many “effective” preparations or treatments that promise to solve problems like androgenetic alopecia, or male pattern baldness, but something that will make it treatable.
Researchers used stem cells to create hair follicles that can regrow hair after it falls out.
This is how hair growth should work. Hair loss is natural, but each strand of hair should be replaced with a new one that grows back in its place. Scientists of the RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research have published a paper on Nature Scientific Reports which details their progress with mammalian stem cells (man will come later).
Research to eliminate baldness
The team took hair and whiskers cells from the mice and cultured them in the lab alongside other ingredients. After testing 220 different new combinations, the researchers found that one type of collagen associated with five factors leads to the highest rate of stem cell amplification in the shortest period of time.
A "definitive" treatment for baldness must produce hair that can grow back after its natural fall. The chosen combination was able to go through at least three cycles of complete hair production and regeneration, and to fight baldness in all its phases.
The team discovered the validity of Itgβ5, a specific marker on stem cells grown for testing. These hair regrowth stem cells seem to work like the latest.
"Our culture system establishes a method for the cyclic regeneration of hair follicles from hair follicle stem cells," say Makoto Takeo e Takashi Tsuji, co-authors of the study. "It will help make hair follicle regeneration therapy a reality in the near future."
Before this baldness cure becomes commercially available, it has to pass clinical trials. So far, RIKEN researchers have demonstrated stem cell therapy in preclinical laboratory tests. Tsuji said the institute is looking for solutions and external collaborators to help develop clinical applications for the new hair growth technology.