National Alopecia Areata Foundation Response to Mice Study
Released: 2/23/2011 3:50 PM EST
Source: National Alopecia Areata Foundation

Compound Leads to Hair-Growth in Mice

SAN RAFAEL, CA -- February 18th -- The National Alopecia Areata Foundation is optimistic about a possible breakthrough by scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles and the Veterans Administration. The scientists initially were studying a chemical compound that blocks the effects of stress on the gut. They used genetically altered mice which typically develop head-to-tail baldness because of overproducing a stress hormone. The surprise came when three months after treating the mice with the compound, the formerly bald mice were full of hair on their heads and bodies. Another positive angle is that the hair stayed after only one series of treatments.

The National Alopecia Areata Foundation feels this study is interesting. The key to how to build on this research is to make the correct diagnosis of what alopecia the mouse model has. The relevance of this model to alopecia areata is unclear and will take further study to see if this will have a meaning for future alopecia areata treatments.

When you genetically engineer a mouse and get alopecia you usually get a very specific defect. When you modulate that defect with a compound directed at the defect you correct the problem caused by that specific defect. So this sounds exciting for that specific cause and form of alopecia. Another interesting concept is that the agent that blocks stress in the GI tract could affect nerves in skin and potentially induce recycling of the follicle. NAAF looks forward to future studies related to these findings.

The National Alopecia Areata Foundation (NAAF), headquartered in San Rafael, CA, supports research to find a cure or acceptable treatment for alopecia areata, supports those with the disease, and educates the public about alopecia areata. NAAF is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors and has a prestigious Scientific Advisory Council. Founded in 1981, NAAF is widely regarded as the largest, most influential and most representative foundation associated with alopecia areata.

To learn more about alopecia areata, or to schedule an interview with a NAAF researcher, please contact the National Alopecia Areata Foundation office at (415) 472-3780 in San Rafael, CA or visit the NAAF website at

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This to me sounds pretty exciting stuff. :)

if it's a big pharma chemical, I ain't touching it but as to their hypothesis...the chemical blocks the effects of stress on the gut..what's causing the stress!!!...there is only three things that can do this...the food you eat, the critters that have taken up house in the gut and the amount of stress hormones you excrete...instead of blocking why not stop the source of the stress.
I agree with you!! I think it's GM foods that cause it; soy, in particular. Soy is being fed to all animals, especially chickens. If you eat chickens or eggs, you are eating soy. Since 97% of the soy produced in the US is GM soy, then it is raised so that it can withstand being sprayed by Round-Up. A friend of mine who has his doctorate in chemistry and botany told me that if an animal eat something and we eat that animal, we are also eating the animal's food. Soy is an endocrine disruptor. It does not affect the chickens themselves as they have a different type of digestive system, However, for a human, soy is also an enzyme inhibitor and can wreak havoc on our digestion and gut!!! You might wish to read "the Whole Soy Story" by Kaayla T. Daniel. I have since become a vegan and do not touch soy (watch out it is in everything from vitamin pills to foods as soy lecithin). I eat veggies, fruits and other beans, but not soy. My scalp is slowly improving and my hair loss is a lot less!! Scientists need to start finding causes not working on band aids; but, I guess there is no money in just finding the cause, only in making the band aids (drugs). Big Pharma is BAD MEDICINE!!!!
Beth, thank you for this!! i am well aware of the evils of soy...and it IS in most all prepared foods....I do eat meat - but only locally raised organic....And there is a woman working on the Columbia University....she has pinpointed Alopecia to specific genes which is glad to hear your good eating habits has hd a positive affect on your if I could get my daughter to be more conscience about her food intake.....fifteen and change is slow
Be careful. Even most chickens that are fed organically, are being fed organic soy and no matter, soy is just plain bad. Look on and read the comments written about people's experiences under the book, "The Whole Soy Story". I keep chickens (now they are my pets). However, I have noticed that they don't really even like their poultry feed with soy in it (organic or non-organic); that alone should tell you something. Now I feed them birdseed mix mostly. I also noticed that when I feed them soy, the rats that get in the pen and eat it die off!!! I am not making this up! Poultry feed used to not contain soy, but it is a cheap protein. There is a group that is trying to change the chicken feed ingredients.

I know what you mean. My 14 year old has become a vegetarian, but I am encouraging her to become vegan. It's been hard.
thnks Beth...I will check out the soy info on Amazon!
I will ask my local farmers what they are feeding their chicks
In the meantime, i just have to be thankful that Alopecia research is ongoing, and hopeful that there will be a solution in my daughters lifetime...
I too am watching this info. coming from Columbia Univ. Abatacept clinical trial starting soon. If you learn any info. please post! Thanks.
Yes, but....what about all the life-saving drugs discovered after years of trials and investigation by "Big Pharma"?
In the past I would have agreed with you. But now, corporate greed is more prevalent. Also, wouldn't you rather find out the cause of something and change it rather than taking a drug that has side affects? I would. My mother was a Vioxx victim, my sister as well as a friend had problems because of what Fosomax did to them, and 48 young girls have died because of Gardasil. If you want to take drugs, marijuana is probably better for you than prescription. I don't take it, but drugs all have there problems and there is no magic pill.
@Mike. what you said made sense also. Yes why not stop the source of stress instead of blocking. It seem one would not have to remain on the chemical blocker, because the mice was on for I think three months. Well It would be good for us to have a choice. To be or not to be ;that is the question!
Actually your reasoning is slightly off, because even with minimal stress you can still overproduce stress hormone. If your body is working in a way that gives an overblown response to relatively small stimuli the actual conditions that you mentioned would not really matter. The average person who has relatively the same interanl conditions as you could be having the appropriate response (small amount of stress hormone released resulting in no hair loss) while your body is having a completely inappropriate response (large amount of stress hormone released resulting in hair loss). This gets back to genetics because certain genes can turn on or off based off of environmental conditions or internal ones, and these genes can tell your body to react in a way that is abnormal. Plus in reality nobody can eliminate all of the stress on their body, and if it was just stress from something specific there would be a lot more people with alopecia.
@Dielle Thank you Wow so many good points, another great point to think about. We need you guys on the research team. I really wish they will come up with something soon.



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