[quote]This would certainly be sound experimental procedure.
However we are at a point where we don’t even know what works. I do think
Nigam’s approach of throwing in everything and the bathroom sink in hopes that
some combination will work is the only way forward for now.
Once some combination is found to work (which would be a miracle), it can
then be deconstructed part by part using the above process to see what
exactly is making it work.[/quote]
I do see your point in throwing everything at the wall, but it turns out this is sloppy experimental technique, costs patients a lot, and you end up having to backtrack, and, as you said, deconstruct the whole thing piece by piece to determine what is really happening. It ends up taking just as much time, if not more time, to do it that way. I think that since we still know very little about the potential of these procedures, the wisest approach is a more meticulous one, of trying each procedure individually.
By taking a structured, meticulous approach, there would be no question of false positives, mixed-up and muddled results, over-hype, confusing and misleading claims by researchers, hysteria and spin on internet forums and false alarms and excitement which is unwarranted.
We would get to see the REAL potential of each procedure individually and separately and make our own conclusions, based on seeing a succession of patients who have had each procedure performed on “tabula rasa” bald areas.
Then, once a baseline efficacy for each procedure is established, different procedures could be combined to augment results.
Here’s what I think would happen, and actually is happening right now, with the muddled approach you prefer.
Let’s say that a doctor conducts a so-called “experiment” on a patient, and uses experimental techniques A, B, and C on the patient. Let’s say that after 6 months, there is good, decent, visible hair growth documented by photos.
Let’s say that the REAL reason for the hair growth was ONLY procedure B, and procedures A and C had no effect whatsoever. Let’s further assume that procedure B is very hard to do, and only this particular doctor has successfully devised it, perfected it and mastered it to a reasonable degree. Procedures A and C are very easy to do, can be easily implemented by HT doctors around the world, are cheap office procedures for which the doctors can charge a HUGE price markup compared with their actual costs. Thus, procedures A and C are VERY APPEALING to HT surgeons who want to get a lot of patients in the door and maximize profits… which is most of them. But procedures A and C are completely useless.
If we take your “bathroom sink” approach, then doctors around the world will immediately see these results, and start offering procedures A and C to patients. In fact, they will base their claims on the hype and buzz generated by the initial experimental results from A, B and C, as circulated on the internet. They will leverage and take advantage of this buzz, fully knowing that they DO NOT REALLY KNOW the true potential of any of these procedures, because they have not performed, witnessed or studied any scientifically valid controlled testing themselves. They probably will not offer procedure B, because it costs them far too much to do and they don’t have the technical expertise to do it; moreover they don’t want to invest the time, effort and money to learn and ramp up for such a procedure. They’d rather just offer A and C and watch the money flow in.
Now, in that scenario, which I think would be the unintended but very real (and very common) outcome of your idea, all these doctors around the world who are now aggressively marketing and pushing these two useless procedures A and C (based on the initial experimental results I described above, using A, B and C), would make a lot of money, while perpetuating complete nonsense.
The upshot is that we still don’t know any more DEFINITIVE information than we did before, but lots of people around the world are getting sc@mmed.
This WOULD be the result of what you propose. In fact, I think it is already happening right now, on a huge scale, with many hyped “procedures”. I think PRP is one of these, but there are numerous others.
Like I said, I do see your point and understand it. That approach appeals especially to impatient people who want to see hair NOW. I just think that at the end of the day, the framework I’ve spelled out is a bit better for the hairloss community as a whole.