We all know that going bald has become an accepted part of live – but does it need to be? A researcher’s accidental discovery could have found a baldness cure that wasn’t previously thought of, yet alone investigated.
Dr Mirna Perez-Moreno from the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre in Madrid was testing anti-inflammatory drugs on mice when she realised they were growing extra hair. After investigating this phenomenon, she found that the excess hair growth was due to macrophages – derived from the white blood cells and produced by the immune system to fight infections and clear up dead tissue.
What happened was the macrophages activated nearby stem cells which are responsible for hair growth.
That means follicles could be encouraged to grow without the need for a hair transplant, which can cost more than $10,000.
She and the study’s other authors wrote in the journal PLOS Biology, “One of the current challenges in the stem cell field is… to promote regeneration without the need of transplantation. Because of this study, it is now known that macrophages play a key role in the environment surrounding stem cells. Our study underlines the importance of macrophages as modulators in skin regenerative processes, going beyond their primary function as phagocytic immune cells.”
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While this isn’t a treatment for baldness just yet, it is a massive breakthrough and it is likely this will lead to new treatments.
So tell us, if there was a cheap and effective treatment for balding, would you or a man in your life use it?