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Researchers discover baldness gene: 1 in 7 men at risk


#1

About a third of all men are affected by male pattern baldness by age 45. The condition’s social and economic impact is considerable: expenditures for hair transplantation in the United States alone exceeded $115 million (U.S.) in 2007, while global revenues for medical therapy for male-pattern baldness recently surpassed $405 million. Male pattern baldness is the most common form of baldness, where hair is lost in a well-defined pattern beginning above both temples, and results in a distinctive M-shaped hairline. Estimates suggest more than 80 per cent of cases are hereditary.

This study was conducted by Dr. Vincent Mooser of GlaxoSmithKline, Dr. Brent Richards of McGill University’s Faculty of Medicine and the affiliated Jewish General Hospital (and formerly of King’s College), and Dr. Tim Spector of King’s College. Along with colleagues in Iceland, Switzerland and the Netherlands, the researchers conducted a genome-wide association study of 1,125 caucasian men who had been assessed for male pattern baldness. They found two previously unknown genetic variants on chromosome 20 that substantially increased the risk of male pattern baldness. They then confirmed these findings in an additional 1,650 caucasian men.

“I would presume male pattern baldness is caused by the same genetic variation in non-caucasians,” said Richards, an assistant professor in genetic epidemiology, “but we haven’t studied those populations, so we can’t say for certain.”

Though the researchers consider their discovery to be a scientific breakthrough, they caution that it does not mean a treatment or cure for male pattern baldness is imminent.

“We’ve only identified a cause,” Richards said. “Treating male pattern baldness will require more research. But, of course, the first step in finding a way to treat most conditions it is to first identify the cause.”

“Early prediction before hair loss starts may lead to some interesting therapies that are more effective than treating late stage hair loss,” added Spector, of King’s College and director of the TwinsUK cohort study.

Researchers have long been aware of a genetic variant on the X chromosome that was linked to male pattern baldness, Richards said.

“That’s where the idea that baldness is inherited from the mother’s side of the family comes from,” he explained. “However it’s been long recognized that that there must be several genes causing male pattern baldness. Until now, no one could identify those other genes. If you have both the risk variants we discovered on chromosome 20 and the unrelated known variant on the X chromosome, your risk of becoming bald increases sevenfold.”

“What’s startling is that one in seven men have both of those risk variants. That’s 14 per cent of the total population!”


#2

» About a third of all men are affected by male pattern baldness by age 45.
» The condition’s social and economic impact is considerable: expenditures
» for hair transplantation in the United States alone exceeded $115 million
» (U.S.) in 2007, while global revenues for medical therapy for male-pattern
» baldness recently surpassed $405 million. Male pattern baldness is the most
» common form of baldness, where hair is lost in a well-defined pattern
» beginning above both temples, and results in a distinctive M-shaped
» hairline. Estimates suggest more than 80 per cent of cases are hereditary.
»
»
» This study was conducted by Dr. Vincent Mooser of GlaxoSmithKline, Dr.
» Brent Richards of McGill University’s Faculty of Medicine and the
» affiliated Jewish General Hospital (and formerly of King’s College), and
» Dr. Tim Spector of King’s College. Along with colleagues in Iceland,
» Switzerland and the Netherlands, the researchers conducted a genome-wide
» association study of 1,125 caucasian men who had been assessed for male
» pattern baldness. They found two previously unknown genetic variants on
» chromosome 20 that substantially increased the risk of male pattern
» baldness. They then confirmed these findings in an additional 1,650
» caucasian men.
»
» “I would presume male pattern baldness is caused by the same genetic
» variation in non-caucasians,” said Richards, an assistant professor in
» genetic epidemiology, “but we haven’t studied those populations, so we
» can’t say for certain.”
»
»
»
»
»
» Though the researchers consider their discovery to be a scientific
» breakthrough, they caution that it does not mean a treatment or cure for
» male pattern baldness is imminent.
»
» “We’ve only identified a cause,” Richards said. “Treating male pattern
» baldness will require more research. But, of course, the first step in
» finding a way to treat most conditions it is to first identify the cause.”
»
»
» “Early prediction before hair loss starts may lead to some interesting
» therapies that are more effective than treating late stage hair loss,”
» added Spector, of King’s College and director of the TwinsUK cohort study.
»
»
» Researchers have long been aware of a genetic variant on the X chromosome
» that was linked to male pattern baldness, Richards said.
»
» “That’s where the idea that baldness is inherited from the mother’s side
» of the family comes from,” he explained. “However it’s been long recognized
» that that there must be several genes causing male pattern baldness. Until
» now, no one could identify those other genes. If you have both the risk
» variants we discovered on chromosome 20 and the unrelated known variant on
» the X chromosome, your risk of becoming bald increases sevenfold.”
»
» “What’s startling is that one in seven men have both of those risk
» variants. That’s 14 per cent of the total population!”

If 80% of cases are hereditary what causes the other 20% to have MPB.


#3

» If 80% of cases are hereditary what causes the other 20% to have MPB.

I think what they meant was that 80% of cases are hereditary i.e. androgentic alopecia, and 20% are others i.e. telogen effilium etc.


#4

I found this article linked to this study (Dr Jones chimes-in in this piece)

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20081012/baldness_gene_081012/20081012?hub=Health

Researchers discover gene linked to baldness
Updated Sun. Oct. 12 2008 10:35 PM ET

CTV.ca News Staff

Losing your hair? Blame your genes.

Researchers have discovered a gene mutation that, when combined with a previously discovered genetic abnormality, is linked to a seven-fold increase in the risk of developing male pattern baldness.

In a study of more than 1,100 men, researchers from McGill University in Montreal, along with scientists from King’s College London and GlaxoSmithKline Inc., found a genetic variation on chromosome 20 that increased the risk of male pattern baldness.

The findings do not yet represent a treatment or a cure for male pattern baldness, the researchers warned.

Further studies based on this new information will be needed to find a cure or a preventative treatment.

“We don’t know if we can stop (baldness),” Dr. Brent Richards of McGill University told CTV News. “First we have to figure out what (the variation) is doing and then design medications that can stop these pathways.”

The research team, which also included scientists from Iceland, Switzerland and the Netherlands, confirmed its findings in a second study of more than 1,600 men.

The study is published in the journal Nature Genetics.

Male pattern baldness is the most common form of baldness, where hair is lost above the temples and near the crown, leading to a distinctive m-shaped hairline.

About one-third of all men develop some form of male pattern baldness by age 45. Researchers estimate that about 80 per cent of cases are hereditary.

Hair loss has considerable economic and social ramifications. It is estimated that consumers in the U.S. spent US$115 million in 2007 on hair transplants, while worldwide medical therapy costs for baldness exceeded $405 million.

James Horton’s hair began thinning when he was in his teen years. Both his father and brother are “quite bald” and he was sure he would lose his hair, too.

He said he is prepared to investigate hair transplant options, particularly so he can look younger.

“I think personally I’d feel better about myself if I wasn’t so bald,” Horton told CTV News.

Scientists have long held a theory that baldness was inherited from the mother’s side of the family after researchers identified a link between a genetic variation on the X chromosome and male pattern baldness.

The researchers said that one in seven men has both the X chromosome and chromosome 20 mutations.

The study only included Caucasian men, which means researchers have yet to determine how their findings apply to the general population, including women.

About 40 per cent of women experience hair loss, mostly following menopause.

“Realistically I think we’re eight to 10 years away (from a cure). They still have to find a way to turn off the gene,” hair transplant physician, Dr. Robert Jones, told CTV News. “At this point I would say there is no cure for baldness.”


#5

» I found this article linked to this study (Dr Jones chimes-in in this
» piece)
»
» http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20081012/baldness_gene_081012/20081012?hub=Health
»
» Researchers discover gene linked to baldness
» Updated Sun. Oct. 12 2008 10:35 PM ET
»
»
» CTV.ca News Staff
»
» Losing your hair? Blame your genes.
»
» Researchers have discovered a gene mutation that, when combined with a
» previously discovered genetic abnormality, is linked to a seven-fold
» increase in the risk of developing male pattern baldness.
»
» In a study of more than 1,100 men, researchers from McGill University in
» Montreal, along with scientists from King’s College London and
» GlaxoSmithKline Inc., found a genetic variation on chromosome 20 that
» increased the risk of male pattern baldness.
»
» The findings do not yet represent a treatment or a cure for male pattern
» baldness, the researchers warned.
»
» Further studies based on this new information will be needed to find a
» cure or a preventative treatment.
»
» “We don’t know if we can stop (baldness),” Dr. Brent Richards of McGill
» University told CTV News. “First we have to figure out what (the variation)
» is doing and then design medications that can stop these pathways.”
»
» The research team, which also included scientists from Iceland,
» Switzerland and the Netherlands, confirmed its findings in a second study
» of more than 1,600 men.
»
» The study is published in the journal Nature Genetics.
»
» Male pattern baldness is the most common form of baldness, where hair is
» lost above the temples and near the crown, leading to a distinctive
» m-shaped hairline.
»
» About one-third of all men develop some form of male pattern baldness by
» age 45. Researchers estimate that about 80 per cent of cases are
» hereditary.
»
» Hair loss has considerable economic and social ramifications. It is
» estimated that consumers in the U.S. spent US$115 million in 2007 on hair
» transplants, while worldwide medical therapy costs for baldness exceeded
» $405 million.
»
» James Horton’s hair began thinning when he was in his teen years. Both his
» father and brother are “quite bald” and he was sure he would lose his hair,
» too.
»
» He said he is prepared to investigate hair transplant options,
» particularly so he can look younger.
»
» “I think personally I’d feel better about myself if I wasn’t so bald,”
» Horton told CTV News.
»
» Scientists have long held a theory that baldness was inherited from the
» mother’s side of the family after researchers identified a link between a
» genetic variation on the X chromosome and male pattern baldness.
»
» The researchers said that one in seven men has both the X chromosome and
» chromosome 20 mutations.
»
» The study only included Caucasian men, which means researchers have yet to
» determine how their findings apply to the general population, including
» women.
»
» About 40 per cent of women experience hair loss, mostly following
» menopause.
»
» “Realistically I think we’re eight to 10 years away (from a cure). They
» still have to find a way to turn off the gene,” hair transplant physician,
» Dr. Robert Jones, told CTV News. “At this point I would say there is no
» cure for baldness.”

OMG…the same crap over and over again…10 yrs…BS!


#6

» » I found this article linked to this study (Dr Jones chimes-in in this
» » piece)
» »
» »
» http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20081012/baldness_gene_081012/20081012?hub=Health
» »
» » Researchers discover gene linked to baldness
» » Updated Sun. Oct. 12 2008 10:35 PM ET
» »
»
» »
» » CTV.ca News Staff
» »
» » Losing your hair? Blame your genes.
» »
» » Researchers have discovered a gene mutation that, when combined with a
» » previously discovered genetic abnormality, is linked to a seven-fold
» » increase in the risk of developing male pattern baldness.
» »
» » In a study of more than 1,100 men, researchers from McGill University
» in
» » Montreal, along with scientists from King’s College London and
» » GlaxoSmithKline Inc., found a genetic variation on chromosome 20 that
» » increased the risk of male pattern baldness.
» »
» » The findings do not yet represent a treatment or a cure for male
» pattern
» » baldness, the researchers warned.
» »
» » Further studies based on this new information will be needed to find a
» » cure or a preventative treatment.
» »
» » “We don’t know if we can stop (baldness),” Dr. Brent Richards of McGill
» » University told CTV News. “First we have to figure out what (the
» variation)
» » is doing and then design medications that can stop these pathways.”
» »
» » The research team, which also included scientists from Iceland,
» » Switzerland and the Netherlands, confirmed its findings in a second
» study
» » of more than 1,600 men.
» »
» » The study is published in the journal Nature Genetics.
» »
» » Male pattern baldness is the most common form of baldness, where hair
» is
» » lost above the temples and near the crown, leading to a distinctive
» » m-shaped hairline.
» »
» » About one-third of all men develop some form of male pattern baldness
» by
» » age 45. Researchers estimate that about 80 per cent of cases are
» » hereditary.
» »
» » Hair loss has considerable economic and social ramifications. It is
» » estimated that consumers in the U.S. spent US$115 million in 2007 on
» hair
» » transplants, while worldwide medical therapy costs for baldness
» exceeded
» » $405 million.
» »
» » James Horton’s hair began thinning when he was in his teen years. Both
» his
» » father and brother are “quite bald” and he was sure he would lose his
» hair,
» » too.
» »
» » He said he is prepared to investigate hair transplant options,
» » particularly so he can look younger.
» »
» » “I think personally I’d feel better about myself if I wasn’t so bald,”
» » Horton told CTV News.
» »
» » Scientists have long held a theory that baldness was inherited from the
» » mother’s side of the family after researchers identified a link between
» a
» » genetic variation on the X chromosome and male pattern baldness.
» »
» » The researchers said that one in seven men has both the X chromosome
» and
» » chromosome 20 mutations.
» »
» » The study only included Caucasian men, which means researchers have yet
» to
» » determine how their findings apply to the general population, including
» » women.
» »
» » About 40 per cent of women experience hair loss, mostly following
» » menopause.
» »
» » “Realistically I think we’re eight to 10 years away (from a cure). They
» » still have to find a way to turn off the gene,” hair transplant
» physician,
» » Dr. Robert Jones, told CTV News. “At this point I would say there is no
» » cure for baldness.”
»
» OMG…the same crap over and over again…10 yrs…BS!

Calm down. First of all, this doctor Jones is just predicting. He is a hair transplant doctor, so I don’t think he is involved in any stem cell/genetic research. He can only guess as we are guessing, based on current facts he got. Also, it probably will take longer time to come up with a genetic cure, i.e., changing the genes so that baldness doesn’t occur, than coming up with a stem cell treatment that will give you back a full head of hair. One has to distinguish between the two, both are a cure for me.

Stem cell research is going EXTREMLY fast nowadays, so it might be very soon that something big happens in the hair front too. Maybe Follica has already cracked it? Who knows. The only thing we can do now is wait. But don’t give on to words and statements by people that probably are just guessers as most of us not involved in the research are.


#7

Yahoo gave this story a front page coverage :

SUNDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) – New genetic links to male pattern baldness have been discovered by researchers in England and Germany.

It’s the second genetic connection to the kind of hair loss that many men – and women – experience as they grow older, said Felix F. Brockschmidt, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Bonn and one of the authors of a report published online Oct. 12 in the journal Nature Genetics.

“The first gene known until now is on the X chromosome,” Brockschmidt said. “It is the most important for alopecia [hair loss]. We are sure that this new locus we found is the second most important.”

The discovery could open the way for genetic tests to single out men most likely to lose hair as they age, Brockschmidt said. “Screening for the X chromosome locus and also for this new one can possibly show the risk of male pattern baldness,” he said.

But whether something can be done to prevent hair loss in people with the gene variants is another story, Brockschmidt acknowledged. One of the new studies was financed, in part, by Glaxo SmithKline, a pharmaceutical company that might seek commercial benefit from its support. And one small company already markets a $149 genetic screening test for male pattern baldness.

That test looks at variants of a gene governing receptors for androgens, which are male hormones. That gene location, on the X chromosome, was identified only a few years ago. A man has only one copy of the X chromosome, inherited from his mother. The new gene locus is on chromosome 20. Men and women alike have two copies of chromosome 20, inherited from both father and mother.

Any preventive treatment is far in the future, Brockschmidt stressed. “As soon as we know the gene and how it functions, we can do something,” he said. “Right now, we have identified the locus but not the gene.”

The work done in Germany paralleled a study led by researchers at Kings College London, with the results of that study differing slightly. It included 1,125 men assessed for male pattern baldness. Two regions on chromosome 20 were found to be associated with the condition. And a further study of another 1,650 men found a sevenfold increase in the incidence of baldness in the one in seven men carrying variants in both the X chromosome and chromosome 20 regions.

The new results “are certainly putting us closer to a genetic test for developing alopecia,” said Dr. George Cotsarelis, director of the Hair and Scalp Clinic at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

But, he added, a negative reading on such a test would be more informative than a positive result showing the presence of the baldness-related genes.

“If you don’t have the genes, there is a negative predictive value of 96 percent,” he said. “If you do have the genes, there is a positive predictive value of about 14 percent.”

The currently marketed genetic test got a low grade from Cotsarelis. “It can predict baldness 60 percent of the time, and 50 percent of men will become bald,” he said.