While studying the effects of cyclosporin A, a drug with a high potential to treat baldness has been discovered, a problem that a large percentage of men fear today. Male pattern alopecia – the most common cause of hair loss – is suffered by about 50% of men aged 50 and older, according to the British Public Health Service (NHS).
Not long ago, a group of British researchers from the University of Manchester were studying a medicine for osteoporosis and discovered that it could also be used to fight baldness. From this, another more powerful one was discovered, the drug WAY-316606.
This new medicine has great potential. However, while still being studied, it is necessary to carry out a series of strict clinical analyzes to ensure its effectiveness and safety.
The drug developed thanks to the study of the medicine for osteoporosis causes the hair follicles to grow even more than 2 millimeters after 6 days of treatment. This result is far above those currently achieved.
What is hair?
The hair is made, like the nails, of keratin , which is a protein that contributes to the hardening of the surface layer of many structures and has a high amount of sulfur is its structure.
Hair loss varies depending on several factors, such as stress and time of year. It is estimated that every day we lose around 50 and 100 hairs .
The hair is divided into two parts: the root and the body. The root begins in the scalp, specifically in the follicle, which contains glands responsible for the formation of sebum and the dermal papilla, which is responsible for nourishing the hair by providing the necessary nutrients.
As for the body, it is made up of three layers : the medulla (composed of a nucleus of central cells), a cortex formed by proteins and an upper layer of keratin cells called the cuticle.
How does hair grow and why can it fall out?
When the hair grows, new cells are born in the follicle that accumulate on each other, pushing the strand of hair out. Strictly speaking, the hair we see from the outside is dead.
Hair growth will vary depending on the person and their genetics, as well as age (between 16 and 24 years is when it grows), diet and the environment (in summer it grows more than in winter). It usually grows approximately 1 cm per month and grows equally throughout the head.
There are several causes why hair can stop growing or even fall causing a picture of alopecia. Among the most common we find:
- Heritage . Both men and women, as they get older, tend to lose the thickness and amount of hair. This type of baldness is not due to a disease and is related to aging , inheritance and changes in the hormone testosterone.
- Stress . Both physical and emotional stress can cause hair loss. This type of loss is usually temporary, but it can become chronic.
- Diseases. Like syphilis and tumors in the ovaries or adrenal cells.
- Excessive use of shampoo and dryer.
- Radiation therapy and chemotherapy .
The discovery of this drug while studying the medicine for osteoporosis is a very important novelty for both scientists and patients suffering from this problem as there is currently no effective treatment for baldness.
How does the drug WAY-316606 work?
The scientists were analyzing cyclosporin A, an immunosuppressant drug, for the treatment of osteoporosis when they found that the drug reduced the activity of a particular protein .
Cyclosporin A has been used since the 1980s to prevent the rejection of transplanted organs and reduce the symptoms of autoimmune diseases.
Despite the finding, the side effects of cyclosporin A did not allow a treatment for baldness , so the team looked for another agent and found that the WAY-316606 was more effective at suppressing the protein. It is believed that One day I can make a real difference for people suffering from alopecia .
This protein, which is a key regulator of growth that affects many tissues, including hair follicles, is called SFRP1. The main function of it is to slow the growth of hair causing its fall . By reducing this brake, the follicle grows more.
Scientists responsible for the discovery of the drug WAY-316606 by studying the drug for osteoporosis assume that the external application of this and other similar compounds on the human scalp could promote hair growth without causing other side effects .