Androgenetic alopecia among men or male pattern baldness is quite prevalent. When a person has this condition, hair loss begins as early as the age of twenty. Sometimes, the onset of baldness might come even during the patient's teenage years. Hair loss usually begins with receding hair lines. As such, the frontal hair line becomes higher. In addition to that, hair shedding becomes excessive and the hair at the back portion of the head becomes thinner. Based on some researches, the person who just inherited the hair loss condition might suffer either a greater or lesser hair loss. Unfortunately, there has been no efficient cure for an androgenetic hair loss condition. Scientists noted that continuous research on the cause of hair loss condition should be made.
In pursuance to the goal of devising a cure for hereditary hair loss conditions, many studies have been made in order to identify the specific gene which is involved in the occurrence of hair loss. Fortunately, a recent study has reaped significant results. Researchers headed by Professor Markus Nöthen of the Life & Brain Centre of the Bonn University Clinic and Dr. Roland Kruse of the Skin Clinic of Düsseldorf University Clinic announced that they have discovered one of the genetic factors that are responsible for hair loss.
Background of the Study …
Researchers conducted a study among several men which had androgenetic alopecia. The criterion was that alopecia should run in the family. As such, several male family members should be experiencing hair loss during the study period. After the researchers were chosen, blood samples were taken from the respondents. The researchers then used the blood samples in order to look for "candidate genes". In their initial step, they successfully identified a series of chromosomes that might be the culprit for hair loss. Professor Nöthen points out that "one variant of this gene was found among men who suffered from premature balding at a very early stage."
Further Explanations …
Axel Hilmer, one of the researchers says that the genetic variant that promotes hair loss might be caused by the presence of high levels of androgen receptors in the scalp. He explains that based on the study findings, "Either more androgen receptors are formed among the men affected, or the variant of the receptor which develops as a result of the genetic change is more stable and is not broken down so quickly." Such occurrences may account for the increased amount of androgens, which in turn promotes hair loss.
Researchers say that the findings of the study showed not only why hair loss potentially happens. Rather, it also explains how hair loss is inherited. They discovered that the gene that serves as an androgen receptor lies on the X chromosomes. Based on initial studies, the X chromosome of males is always inherited from the mother. As such, the study implies that men usually take on hereditary characteristics from their grandfather on their mother's side.
However, researchers also pointed out that hair loss conditions are not only caused by just a single gene. Rather, they stress out that their studies show that there are also other genes that might be involved. These genes are independent of the gender of the patient. Therefore, hair loss might also be inherited directly from a father to a son.