The Key to Locks: Columbia Team’s Breakthrough Led to Hair Loss Treatment

By Alan Dove

For over a decade, Columbia geneticist Angela Christiano, PhD, has attended the annual meeting of the National Alopecia Areata Foundation, where hundreds of individuals affected by the hair loss disorder gather to support one another and learn about the latest scientific research. The meeting is a safe space where patients with alopecia, many of whom have lost all their hair, joyfully remove their wigs and head coverings for the three-day celebration, without fear of shame or judgment.

But this year’s meeting was a bit different. Christiano had trouble recognizing conference attendees she’s known and worked with for years, because many of them now have full heads of hair.

For people with alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease that can cause hair loss so complete that people even lose their eyebrows, the change in appearance was dramatic.

It was also a direct result of Christiano’s groundbreaking research on the condition, which led the FDA in June to approve(link is external and opens in a new window) the first systemic treatment specifically developed for severe alopecia areata.

“It’s a strange feeling. It’s what every geneticist dreams of, to find the genes for a condition and develop a treatment that can directly benefit patients. But it’s extremely rare that it actually works out that way,” says Christiano, who has studied alopecia areata for more than 20 years, motivated by her own bout with the disease.

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Suppressing/ disconnecting a signal is temporary solution, we need to learn how to reboot immune system so that its flaws can be eliminated. 
Immune system is a complex coding of brain, if we place a barrier in front of a signal, it will restart once we stop medicine. 
So the permanent solution is to find how can we reboot the immune system, which i think is possible from stem cell of our own body having all information since ourself being embryo till now.

we dont need temporary solutions, otherwise we are ok with what we are.

Going from completely bald to a full head of hair, I'll take the temporary solution. Its only been a 1 1/2 years on the Concert Pharmaceutical Clinical trial, but I wonder if at some point will the drug permanently change my immune system reaction after being on the drug for years? Only way to find out is stop using it and see if Alopecia rears its ugly head again.

They conveniently forget to mention on all of their interviews that with their 5 plus years of “ research “ is that if you have alopecia for more than 5 years you’re not eligible to participate and will bluntly say to their patients and I quote “ sorry but you love had it too long and we can’t help you. We wish you the best in your journey “. 
something that you don’t want to hear after 3 hours of waiting and being excited to finally get this up and going. 

they don't want patients with too long of a disease to have the best clinical trial results for the drug to be approved.

I use the drug and had the disease for 25 years and recovered a good deal. i use the drug like many here buying it.

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