Genes associated with the development of alopecia areata discovered


Researchers have discovered 8 pairs of genes that are responsible for the development of alopecia areata — a disorder that leads to a decrease in the thickness and hair loss

As we have already reported, an international group of scientists has found that baldness is associated with heredity and is 90% dependent on genetic factors. Active study of the genetic causes of various types of alopecia continues by scientists in many countries.

The senior author of one of the recent studies, a professor of dermatology, genetics and development at Columbia University Medical Center, says that the exact detection of genes and their influence on the development of alopecia areata is very important for developing drugs for this disease.

According to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation, which funded the study, more than 5 million people in the United States alone suffer from this condition. Most often, in this case, baldness is limited to only a certain area, but sometimes complete hair loss on the head is also possible. Men and women suffer from the disease in the same way, but women are diagnosed with alopecia more often, because they seek medical help more often than men. The progression of the disease is unpredictable — one person may lose a little hair in a small area of ​​​​the head, and in another — almost all hair will fall out in a few days.

The researchers found that the severity of the disease depends on the presence of certain genes in a person. In the presence of 16 or more certain genes (8 pairs or more), the likelihood of disease progression increases dramatically. Some of these genes have also been linked to the development of psoriasis, type 1 diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis.

In the hair follicles of people suffering from baldness, many T-cells of the immune system were found, which attacked the follicle. As the experts explain, among the eight pairs of genes in people with alopecia areata, an active ULBP3 gene was found in the upper layer of the follicle. For the immune system, this gene is a danger signal, according to which T-cells attack the follicle.

There is currently no treatment for alopecia areata that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Although sometimes some people rely on subcutaneous steroid injections and other not officially recommended methods.

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