Future Researches for Hair Loss Treatment
Future hair loss treatments will exceed the barriers of many cosmetic, medical and surgical methods used nowadays. Some new treatment methods including hair cloning and gene therapy are able to cure hereditary patterned baldness permanently.
However, it is logical to ask: why is the scientific society making huge efforts on medical research and paying big funds on hair loss treatment, while other fatal diseases such as AIDS, cancer, diabetes and heart diseases wait for solutions? Human hair follicles consider an important model to understand the biology of human body, for example the organ system of our body, cell division and the growth process and stages, our body immune reaction and response and the last thing is the human genome. When talking about hair growth cycle, hair follicles usually vanish totally after shedding phase, and probably new follicles develop and start growing in the next phase.
Because of originating hair follicle in the beginning of each growth stage give us a unique chance to apply different medical techniques such as gene therapy or cloning method. When we discover the function of one part of the body, surely it will have relation with something else, it means what we learn in one medical field will surely be applied in other fields.
The future of medical treatments:
Nowadays, many hair loss medications have very limited effectiveness. Also, we don’t have enough information why several diseases lead to hair loss. In many cases, we treat the symptoms not the causes of the disease, usually treatment of these diseases are not effective enough. In fact, medications prescribed these days for androgenetic alopecia, require continuous use to guarantee its results, these medications usually have limited effect on some patients. Also, they need to carry the cost of these medications for long periods to have the wanted results. In the future, scientists and physicians will have a better understanding of how to control normal hair growth cycle, and how other conditions affect it.
Also, they will develop new effective treatments to target hair loss causes and lower its side effects.
Dutestride is one of the promising future treatments. Currently, it is prescribed for treating benign prostate hyperplasia. It is produced by GSK (GlaxoSmithCline) under the commercial name Avodart. Like Fenestride, Dutestride is 5α-reductase the inhibitor Reductase is taken as a pills. It is shown that it inhibits chemical reactions that transform testosterone to dehydrotestosteron(DHT). High levels of this molecule cause prostate hyperplasia over years. In addition, it send signals to reduce hair growth causing baldness in those who are genetically qualified with hair bulbs sensitive to dehydrotestosteron.
Lowering DHT levels weakens these signals and reduce their effect on hair. The trick is to use a medication to inhibit 5α-reductase from converting testosterone to dehydrotestosteron, consequently, hair will grow again.
There are two different species of 5α-reductase inhibitor that converts testosterone to dehydrotstosterone. While Fenistride can be effective inhibiting 5α-reductase inhibitor type 2, dusteride inhibits type Fenestide lowers DHT with 65-70%, while dutestride affect can reach 90% or more. We hope that Dutasteride will be more effective than other described medications especially for females who have an inherited type of hair loss, also it will be good for men who did not achieve good result from Propecia as they expected. Dutestride side effects are similar to Fenestride. Anyway, doses prescribed for hair loss treatment are not determined yet, and side effects appearance depends on the dose.
One method to achieve high degree of effectiveness from hair loss medications and in the same time decrease the side effects of these medications. Hopefully in the future will have a topical lotions that will apply to the head scalp which consider more practical and effective to prevent the DHT message from damaging our hair cells follicles. Pills medications like Propecia and Dustateride affect DHT in a process that it is represented by many steps, first it will affect the DHT on the blood level after that will affect the amount of DHT in our head scalp and lastly this will lead to affect the DHT concentrations at cellular level.
Later in the future we hope that we will be able to affect the DHT level in hair follicles cells and this will lead us to increase our ability in controlling the hair loss and reduce the undesirable side effects. In future medications will be merge with shampoo or hair conditioners, and in this new technique we will use these products to prevent the hair from falling, this method is similar to the fluoride in tooth paste which help our teeth.
We will be developed in hair loss medications to treat the baldness conditions that we are facing other than genetic treatment. In the future we will use targeted medications which is designed to affect the follicles cells and their growth factors signals by controlling the anagen stage which is the first stage in the growing process and in the same time block other signals that lead to shut off the growing process. We will do some improvements in medications that are responsible to treat diseases that are responsible for permanent or temporary hair loss.
Diseases and some circumstances that lead to cause provisional hair loss “non-scarring alopecia” because hair follicles diminutive organs consist of. The lost hair is either regrow itself or with some intervention of chemical signals. Alopecia areata consider a non-scarring alopecia. some patients who suffer from alopecia areata have been able to regrow hair again even after many years from suffering a constant hair loss. There are also other cases for a non-scarring hair loss such as exposing to chemotherapy and radiation treatments, are also non-scarring. Hair shafts that are pulled out of hair bulbs, do not permanently damage them. After being picked off, hair follicles will rest and start recovering, after that a new hair bulb is grown, as a result new hair will grow.
Non-scarring alopecia’s affect the "bulb" which is a part of the hair follicle, located at its base deep in the skin. Cells that we find in the bulb are responsible for growing the hair shaft for four to six years during each hair growth round, but in the of this full round these cells seems to destroy as a reason of the contracting in the hair follicles volume when they begin the resting phase. Future medications that are designed to target the hair bulb cells will also maybe effective to treat the alopecia areata and it can help in reducing the hair loss that happened because of cancer treatments and stressful events.
Doctors call diseases that cause permanent hair loss “scarring alopecia’s”, this diseases are usually scars the hair follicle in a way that effect the on the hair growth by blocking the follicles to grow new hair. Some scarring alopecia’s, such as lupus erythematosus and lichen planopilaris, trigger an inflammatory immune response where white blood cells attack in the (bluge) area of the hair follicle. The bulge area is located near the middle of the hair follicle, beneath the oil gland which called sebaceous and also near the connection point of arrector pili muscle and this muscle is responsible to let the end of the hair stand.
Another genetic type of hair loss is called Androgenetic alopecia which is considered to be a type of scarring alopecia, and this cause to minimize hair follicles production over time until no hair grow again. Suggested that the area which called the (bulge) is the one that responsible for causing hair loss disease and this bulge is located in the hair follicle and the function of this bulge is to regrow the hair in each new growth phase. It is believed that many cells in the bulge produce the bulb cells at the start of each growing phase, these new cells form new hair. When the cells that are located in the bulge are damaged enough this will lead to affect the growth of a new bulb in hair follicle, as a result no new hair will grow. In the future medications that are produced to target the bulge area in the hair follicle will be more effectively to treat the permanent type of hair loss than the surgical treatment even so this medications will also be effective to treat the genetic pattern of hair loss.
The future of surgical treatments:
The surgical treatment for hair loss that are available today and we are you using them to limit the hair loss disease will be less effectiveness in the future. Existing surgical ways are not able to produce a full head of thicker hair. The most apparent way to improve the surgical treatment is by using the cloning technique for the hair follicles. The secret behind the importance of cloning technique is when we have a successful results of hair follicles cloning from donor area we will insure to have a lifetime result of hair growing and a limitless hair thickness. It will be possible to indirectly inject cloned follicles into the scalp, eliminating surgery altogether. If scientist can already cloned an entire sheep, why we can't apply this cloning method on human hair follicles and let it be a probable reality?
The answer is not that easy to explain because it needs some demonstration of human cell biology, human genome and cell replication. Also there are different types of cloning that we probably be able to apply it on human hair follicles.
Cells are the basic elements of all living organisms. Cells in a multi-celled organism have specialized distinguishing that set up them to most efficiently do their particular functions. Single cells in organisms work together with other similar cells in body tissue or they may work together with different type of cells but in specialized structures which called human organs. For instance, in our hair follicles which they are a minimized organ we can see that there many different types of cells who are working together in order to grow the hair.
The anatomy of a maturated cell is a structure called cell nucleus, this nucleus contains chromosome composed of double strands helix called DNA, DNA molecules are responsible to create different types of proteins by sending information and these information is transferred to signals that allow this protein to do their function. There are different types of protein depending on their functions for example, there are structural proteins like the keratin protein that we find in our hair, also there are other proteins responsible for sending messages between cells like the DHT hormone and other protein who are responsible for converting proteins from one type to another type, an example of these protein is enzyme 5-alpha reductase.
DNA molecules contain genes that are located in a way to encodes a special type of proteins. All of these genes are guidelines for creating specific kinds of proteins. There are no genes for particular body properties like (pattern baldness) or (green eyes) or (curly hair). Only guidelines for creating proteins. But other type of proteins which genes are encode to create them in order to determine the properties of this cells for example, the inherited hair loss, eye color and hair curling,. Habitually many different types of genes and different types of proteins, work together to determine specific inherited body properties.
A remarkable feature of cells that we find in multi-celled organism is that each of one of them include in its chromosome a full DNA blueprint of all the genes for all the proteins in the entire organism. Singular cells only use the information of making protein that they need to do their specific function, even if they contain other protein creating information. For instance, cells that we find In the iris of eye are using the protein that responsible for expressing the green eyes property, and can not use these proteins to express baldness or curly hair or even any other genetic features. On the other hand, all the information to create these types of proteins we can find them in the iris cells of the eye but they are inefficient, like the information that we find in the hair follicles to create proteins to give the green eyes features is also inactive. Unblocking the DNA information in older specialized cells consider an important part of some cloning techniques. The description of cell replication is that the cells well split in half after that grow to full size again. '
In a rapidly growing embryo, cells replicate by splitting in half and then grow to full size again. This procedure is called cell mitosis, and each half of cell that splits containing a full and exact set of the organism's DNA and information. Later the embryo will grow into a more fully functioning organism, every cell begin to differentiate and get its own properties. As cells get more specialized, cell replication will turn to special precursor cells which they are known as stem cells.
Mature specialized cells do not replicate easily, maybe they are like this in order to defense against cancer, which is featured by uncontrolled cell division. But all cells die by time, and new ones must replace them. Every cell has special period of time to live, some of the cells last for days only, other may last for years and decades but in the end all cells will erode. The inability of differentiated cells to replicate themselves limit the body ability to repair itself and heal wounds and replace aging cells, as it makes cloning difficult.
In mature organism we can find some undifferentiated cells these cells are called stem cells and they are responsible for exchanging old or damaged specialized cells. We can find stem cells in every self-repairing tissue, but in the same time most of these stem cells are difficult to be distinguished in a mature organism. Stem cells in mature organisms are similar to the embryonic ones, they can differentiate to any type of specialized cells. When stem cells are ineffectual to create new cells, they will divide infrequently which will decrease the danger of undesirable DNA mutations. But these cells when they are signaled to make new cells of special type, they will create short-lived moderate cells which they called transient amplifying cells, after that they will engage in rapid cell mitosis and create the specialized cells that the organism needs
In conclusion, we can say that cells make up tissue and organs which they are engaged together and build the organism. The DNA that we find in organism cells contains genes that are responsible for creating proteins, and these proteins define specialized cell properties and tasks. Specialized cells in turn define the organism properties, including the inherited characteristics for example, resistance to the hormone DHT. Specialized cells do not proliferate easily, maybe when organism needs new specialized cells, stem cells are signaled to create transient amplifying cells, which in turn make the needed specialized cells.
Gene therapy is a progressive and developed technique, in future this gene therapy will be a method to solve the inherited hair loss. Gene therapy is a process of modifying gene of existing cells in the body, as a result adjusting the cell function. This medical treatment is still in his first stages and there have only been a few experiments of using gene therapy. This method consider an important future to treat the hair baldness.
Using the gene therapy technique needs to be updated to the all molecular information in the DNA and then start repairing the mutated places of the genome. The aim behind gene therapy is to exchange the hair follicles with DHT- sensitive cells to resistance cells in order to have a hair follicles that will continue to grow for a lifetime. Gene therapy consist of several tough stages to achieve the goal. The first step of gene therapy is to find the genes that you want to work on that are responsible for the baldness, next step is to determine how exactly these genes are changed, later is to give the information that will change the mutation and give you the purpose you want and achieve your main goal. The third step is getting the target cells in the living organism to combine the new and improved genes as alternatives for the old undesirable genes.
Figuring out which genes are participated in the genetic condition to be changed is not any easy mission. Despite of all the progressing and development in mapping genes in recent years, we are still so far away from knowing all the details that we want about these genes. Until now we don’t have a strong background about the genes that are responsible for the hair growth cycle and which genes are affected to cause hair loss. The studies shows that there are many different genes that are responsible to create the proteins that they affect the hair follicles and let them be DHT-sensitive.
Future studies will may give us the chance to compare the genes and protein in different hair follicles but for the same person. In a study with patient who has androgenetic alopecia, some hair follicle will express the properties of DHT-resistance(the bulb at the back of the head scalp), while other hair follicle will express the properties of DHT-sensitivity(at the front hairline). Both of the hair follicles contain cells with similar DNA, but in the same time they shows different properties. Distinguishing the responsible genes will not be that easy. After we differentiate these genes we have to find a way in order to do some modifications on those genes to make proteins that create DHT-resistant hair follicles. Scientists have been do some improvement in gene identification.
Changing Genes in Living Cells and Living Organisms:
The third challenge of gene therapy is delivering the new and improved genes to the target cells, after that to let these cells use the delivered genes to make new proteins and let the targeted cells express the preferable properties.
Choosing the right targeted cells is the key point for gene therapy success. If mature cells are altered, the benefits of gene therapy go away after those cells erode and exchange them with new cells having the original DNA. To have a long-term effect, we must target stem cells. When successful, the modified stem cells will then create modified specialized cells that will express the desired properties.
The most common modified gene-delivery method involves using crippled viruses to insert required genes into. Outside the laboratory, viruses are teeny organisms that are responsible to do the infection of cells by replacing the cell's DNA with the virus DNA. Aafter infection the cell with that virus, a cell will begin to create proteins that are expressed by the DNA virus, as a result the expression of various diseases. Researcher are using the virus infection method in order to deliver the desirable DNA.
First of all, they damage the DNA virus in order to not cause any harmful effects, but in the same time the DNA virus still be able to insert new DNA into target cells. The desired genes are spliced onto the virus DNA, after that the viruses insert the new DNA into the target cells. There are two way to inject the viruses in the targeted cells, it may be done by injecting the viruses directly to the location of stem cells, or the other way is by culturing the stem cells in a laboratory and altered them by the virus that contain the preferable DNA, after that altered stem cells can be placed back into the organism.
Identifying genes and determining exactly how to modify them to express the desired proteins and avoiding an immune reaction when the viruses are injected into the organism, getting enough quantity of target cells in order to take the altered DNA regardless of how it is delivered, after that getting these cells to express the properties that are coded by the altered genes, once the new DNA is inserted all is need work harder and do more research. But improvement is being made.
In conclusion, the future of hair loss treatment shows great promise in many aspects, from producing new medications such as dutasteride to advances in cloning and gene therapy. But these different treatments are still under studies and are still far away from commercial use. Current treatment ways, including cosmetic products, drugs such as Propecia, also surgical procedures for example, follicular unit micrografts are available right now, if you really desire to do something about your hair loss. Your first step is to schedule an examination with a dermatologist that knows about hair loss treatment.