Scientists in Japan develop new technique to reverse baldness by transplanting a special type of hair follicle cell into a patient’s scalp
- Scientists in Tokyo have studied a new technique to reverse baldness
- This involved taking samples of cells from the hair follicles at the back of the head
- The cells were treated and then injected into the top of the scalp
- The team saw 8% hair growth in one year
Medical researchers in Japan have developed a new technique to help reverse baldness by transplanting a patient’s own hair cells directly into their scalp to stimulate new growth.
The technique was developed by a team of dermatologists from Tokyo Medical University Hospital, led by Ryoji Tsuboi.
The team tested the technique on 50 men and 15 women aged 33 to 64.
Scientists in Japan have developed a new technique that could reverse baldness, by taking samples of special cells from the hair follicles on the back of a person’s head and transplanting them to areas with less hair growth on the top of the head.
They found an average of eight percent more hair density in the areas of the scalp that had received transplants.
“The result of our study was very encouraging,” said Tsuboi. Told the Asahi Shimbun. “We were able to show that the study could help develop a new treatment for hair loss.”
The test took place over the course of a year and also involved a group of subjects who received placebo injections for comparison.
The team took small samples of dermal sheath cell cells from the hair follicles at the back of a subject’s head.
The cells were treated and cultured in larger quantities in a laboratory, then injected into the top of the scalp.
The team regularly examined test subjects every few months and found that new hair growth appeared to be most active between six and nine months.
The team used the technique on 50 men and 15 women aged 33 to 64 and found that after one year, there was an additional 8% hair density at the transplant sites.
The team was led by Ryoji Tsuboi, a dermatologist from the Tokyo Medical University Hospital. “The result of our study was very encouraging,” he said.
After nine months, the rate of hair growth at the transplant sites slowed down again.
The treatment seems to be more effective in older people and slightly less effective in younger people.
They also found that increasing the amount of cells transplanted into the scalp did not seem to cause additional hair growth than smaller doses.
According to the team, this could have been caused by a variety of factors, including “ cell debris ” samples that could have prevented activation of all of the cells in the additional skin sheath.
There could also have been an immune system response that prevented more cells from having an effect beyond a certain threshold.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF HAIR LOSS?
It is perfectly normal for people to lose small amounts of hair as they regenerate and, on average, people can lose between 50 and 100 hairs per day.
However, if people start losing whole patches of hair or large amounts of hair, it can be more distressing and potentially a sign of something serious.
Baldness is a common cause of hair loss as people age. According to the British Association of Dermatologists, at least half of men over the age of 50 will lose part of their hair just during the aging process.
Women can also lose their hair as they age.
Other more worrying causes of hair loss include stress, cancer treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation, weight loss or iron deficiency.
However, most hair loss is temporary and should grow back.
The specific medical conditions that cause hair loss include alopecia, a disorder of the immune system; an underactive or overactive thyroid; lichen planus of the skin or Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a type of cancer.
People should see their doctor if their hair starts to fall out, suddenly falls out, if their scalp itches or burns, and if hair loss causes severe stress.