Drs. Niesel and Herzog Medical Discovery News - bridging the world of medical discovery and you...
HomeAbout UsRadio ShowsPodcastListener QuestionsRadio StationsContactsReliable LinksStudents

Radio Shows | Hey Dave, Hope for Hair Loss | mp3wmawav

Hey Dave, Hope for Hair LossWhoa… Dave, the lightís hitting your bald spot just right. Itís blinding me!

Very funny, as if you had an abundance of hair yourself. Actually Iím quite ok with my hair loss but Iíd still like to know why it happens and if itís reversible.

Weíre not there yet but we may be closer. Japanese scientists recently discovered that when a gene called Sox21 is knocked out in mice, the rodents start losing hair two weeks after birth and are completely naked a week later.

Within a few days they regrew their hair but quickly lost it again.

This cycle continued for at least two years and affected both males and females. Turns out we humans also have the Sox21 gene. Itís found in human scalp tissue and in the outer layer of the hair.

Each strand of hair is composed of three distinct layers each with different functions. The outermost layer is called the cuticle and itís a hard, shingle-like structure of over-lapping cells some 5 to12 deep.

What researchers found in mice is that those lacking the Sox21 gene did not have the normal interlocking between the inner layer of the hair cuticle and the outer layer.

Thatís what anchors the hair in the hair follicle.

These mice also made a lot less of the proteins involved in the scaffolding of cuticle cells that allows them to stick together which would affect the normal structure of the hair itself.

Though the study does not yet prove this gene is involved in human balding, it does further our knowledge of hair growth and retention and may help in developing treatments in the future.

As for this leading to a quick cure for baldness? I wouldnít hold my breath.

Click here to email this page to a friend.

For more information…

The original research article that reporting the discovery of the Sox21 gene in balding can be read here.

For an article that is easier to read, go to The Medical News website here and the National Health Service in the United Kingdom here or here.

MedlinePlus will direct you to information to help answer health questions. MedlinePlus brings together authoritative information from NLM, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other government agencies and health-related organizations. Preformulated MedlinePlus also has extensive information about drugs, an illustrated medical encyclopedia, interactive patient tutorials, and latest health news. They have an excellent web page about alopecia here and even more information on hair problems here.

The Mayo Clinic has more information about hair loss here.

MedicineNet.com has a wide array of medical information for the public and a webpage about hair loss in men and women here


home | about us | radio shows | podcast | listener questions | radio stations | contact us | links | students | disclaimer

©2006-2007 Drs. David Niesel and Norbert Herzog. All Rights Reserved.
The University of Texas Medical Branch. Please review our site policies.
Send mail to J. Junemann with questions or comments about this web site.