There are many side effects that come with getting older.
Grey hairs, wrinkles, getting worse at telling jokes and, for some people, baldness. These are just a few of the many things we face in later life.
In an age where people are seemingly becoming more and more obsessed with trying to hold onto their youth, hair dye, Botox and even hair transplants have become reasonably common place, as people desperately try to reverse the effects of ageing.
While hair transplants can be pricey and painful, scientists have just come forward with news that will have bald people cheering from the roof tops.
New research has revealed stem cells from fat could allow hair to regrow, even where hair has been absent for years.
However, the solution is only designed for one kind of baldness: androgenetic alopecia – also known as male-pattern baldness in men and female-pattern baldness in women, caused by a mixture of genetic, hormonal and environmental factors.
If successful, the solution could make a huge difference to so many peoples’ lives, as androgenetic alopecia is thought to affect as many as 50% of men and almost as many women above the age of 50.
Sadly, a side effect of baldness can lead to lower self-esteem and other factors affecting people’s psychological wellbeing.
Over in the United States there are already a few FDA-approved medications which are designed to treat hair loss, however they have been known to have negative side effects, including a loss of libido and erectile dysfunction.
So, researchers have been striving to find a safer and more effective treatment.
This new potential solution was discovered when scientists discovered adipose tissue-derived stem cells from fat and connective tissue secrete several growth hormones that help cells develop and proliferate.
Their studies found growth factors, including hepatocyte growth factor, vascular endothelial growth factor, insulin-like growth factor and platelet-derived growth factor, helped to increase the size of the hair follicle as the study went on.
The team of researchers was led by Professor Sang Yeoup Lee from the Family Medicine Clinic and Research Institute of Convergence of Biomedical Science and Technology, Pusan National University Yangsan Hospital, in South Korea.
Professor Sang said, as per the Mirror:
Recent studies have shown that ADSCs promote hair growth in both men and women with alopecia.
However, no randomised, placebo-controlled trial in humans has explored the effects and safety of adipose-derived stem cell constituent extract (ADSC-CE) in AGA.
We aimed to assess the efficacy and tolerability of ADSC-CE in middle-aged patients with AGA in our study, hypothesising that it is an effective and safe treatment agent.
A group of 38 patients – 29 men and nine women – who have all experienced baldness, took part in the research, which assigned half to an intervention group that received the ADSC-CE topical solution and half as a control group that received a placebo.
They all applied either the ADSC-CE topical solution or the placebo to their scalp using their fingers, twice a day.
Our findings suggest that the application of the ADSC-CE topical solution has enormous potential as an alternative therapeutic strategy for hair regrowth in patients with AGA, by increasing both hair density and thickness while maintaining adequate treatment safety.
The next step should be to conduct similar studies with large and diverse populations in order to confirm the beneficial effects of ADSC-CE on hair growth and elucidate the mechanisms responsible for the action of ADSC-CE in humans.
The study results provide huge hope for the millions of people worldwide who experience male-pattern and female-pattern baldness.
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