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Ruxolitinib could help many people with alopecia areata with their problem
Hair loss is a common problem in today's society. There are many reasons for hair loss. An autoimmune disease called alopecia areata sometimes leads to hair loss. Researchers have now found that treatment with ruxolitinib can lead to significant hair regrowth in sufferers.
Scientists at the Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) found in a study that around 75 percent of patients with moderate to severe alopecia areata experienced significant hair regrowth after treatment with ruxolitinib. The doctors published the results of their study in the journal "Journal of Clinical Investigation / Insight".
The average hair regrowth was up to 92 percent
Early hair loss can be a major psychological burden for those affected. The autoimmune disease alopecia areata can cause severe hair loss. But there seems to be a simple solution to this problem. A drug that is normally used to treat certain bone marrow disorders can lead to significant hair regrowth, the researchers say. By the end of treatment, the average hair regrowth was up to 92 percent.
Ruxolitinib can help some people with hair loss
The new study found that so-called JAK inhibitors can be an effective treatment for people with alopecia areata, explains Professor Julian Mackay-Wiggan from Columbia University Medical Center. For example, the drug ruxolitinib achieved good results in the treatment of hair loss. For a long time now, doctors have been looking for new therapies that help with hair loss. The findings now could help many people around the world with hair loss.
The autoimmune disease alopecia areata affects women and men
This is encouraging news for patients to cope with the physical and emotional effects of this disfiguring autoimmune disease, the scientists say. Alopecia areata is the second most common form of hair loss and can occur at any age. The autoimmune disease affects women and men equally, the experts add.
Alopecia areata can also cause facial and body hair loss
The disease usually causes hair loss on the scalp. Some patients also suffer from facial and body hair loss. For a long time there was no known form of treatment that can restore lost hair, the authors explain.
Medicament can reawaken dormant follicles
During the investigation, the researchers identified specific immune cells and the dominant inflammatory signaling pathways that attack human hair follicles. Experiments with hair follicles from mice and humans showed that topical and oral medications inhibit the so-called Janus kinases from enzymes, the specialists explain. In this way, dormant follicles are reawakened by blocking inflammatory signaling pathways.
Subjects were monitored for a maximum of nine months
During the small study, the researchers examined patients with moderate to severe alopecia areata (more than 30 percent hair loss). All patients were given 20 mg ruxolitinib orally twice daily. The treatment lasted for three to six months, the doctors explain. The participants were then monitored for a further three months to assess the durability of the treatment.
Ruxolitinib resulted in hair regrowth in a large number of subjects
The small so-called open label study examined a total of twelve patients with alopecia areata. The regrowth of 50 percent or more of the hair was observed in nine of the patients. In 77 percent of the subjects successfully treated by the therapy, hair regrowth of more than 95 percent was found, the scientists say.
No side effects were observed
However, a third of these successfully treated subjects had significant hair loss during the so-called follow-up period after the drug was stopped. However, this hair loss did not exceed hair loss before treatment. The drug was tolerated by all participants without serious undesirable side effects, the researchers explain. (as)