Why Do People Go Bald?
There’s no remedy for baldness only quite yet. However, we could be edging towards that goal, as scientists have now pinpointed the cause ofage-related( rather than male pattern) baldness, according to a new studypublished in the periodical Science .
Scientists from the Tokyo Medical and Dental University looked at mice when they turned 18 months old approximately when they startto lose their hair. They found that these mice had both fewer and smaller hair follicles, suggesting that their original follicles had altered somehow. They then repeated such studies on humans aged between5 5 and 70 and received similar outcomes, regardless of sex.
Stem cells “blank slate” cells that have to ability to change into virtually any other type of cell are responsible for hair growth in the hair follicle.
They found that DNA damage, which accumulates with age, caused the extermination of a collagen protein called COL1 7A1, a critical molecule for hair follicle stem cell upkeep. As more stem cells suffer from this lack of COL1 7A1, the hair follicles begin to shrink and be transformed into epidermal keratinocytes thats the type of cell that attains up 90 percent of our outer layer of skin.
They concluded thatmaintaining COL1 7A1 levelscould help ease this aging of hair follicles and lessen age-related hair loss.Although, perhaps more interestingly, they hope their findings about hair follicle stem cells could be used as a model to examine aging in other organs.
In the study, the researchers said: This paradigm could potentially open new avenues for the development of anti-aging strategies to prevent and treat aging-associated diseases.
Main image credit: screenpunk/ Flickr .( CC BY-NC 2.0 )
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