There could be new hope out of Japan for women suffering from female pattern baldness. Using adult stem cells, Japanese scientists have grown hair on hairless mice, they announced last week in the magazine Nature Communications. The discovery offers prospect for the 35 million men and 21 million women who experience noticeable hair loss during their lifetimes.
The researchers implanted hair follicles created from the stem cells, and the mice began growing hair that continued to grow in normal hair-growth cycles. Because they were successful using adult stem cells, the scientists said the treatment may be useful in helping people suffering from baldness to use their own cells to create the implants.
“Our current study thus demonstrates the potential for not only hair regeneration therapy, but also the realization of bioengineered organ replacement using adult somatic stem cells,” the researchers said in the study.
While the study may be a viable treatment, it will likely take close to 10 years to determine if this successful experiment in mice can be as successful in humans, comments Los Angeles hair transplant surgeon Dr. Craig L. Ziering. “This technique takes a small amount of hair and through bio-engineering multiplies or increases the number of hair follicles from the source and after enough regenerated hairs are created they can be surgically transplanted. If successful, this can lead to an unlimited donor supply with improved transplant results for people with limited donors as well as making more people
good candidates for the procedure,” he says.
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