In a recent interview in the New York Times, Angela Christiano, an associate professor of dermatology and genetics at Columbia University, discusses her hair loss research. Christiano became interested in the alopecia areata after noticing her first bald spots at thirty.
In the Summer of 2009, Christiano announced the discovery of the 139 markers for alopecia found across the human genome. Her team compared the DNA of 1,000 alopecia patients against a control group of 1,000 without it.
Interestingly, alopecia shares virtually no genes with autoimmune skin diseases like psoriasis or vitiligo; instead it has much in common with type 1 diabetes, celiac disease and arthritis. Because there are many drugs on the market to treat these diseases, there is a good chance that existing and approved drugs could have benefits for hair loss sufferers.
“We have a chance of pushing forward with clinical trials for potentially effective drugs much sooner than we’d thought,” says Christiano.
Read the full article at NYTimes.com.