Scientists Find Possible Genetic Roots of Alopecia Areata

Scientists have identified eight genes that may be associated with Alopecia Areata, a common cause of hair loss that affects 5.3 million Americans, including Miss Delaware Kayla Martell and yours truly!

I’ve had this condition since I was 9 and I can tell you, it’s not fun. But, it could be worse right? I could have a life threatening disease, could be missing a limb or any of a number of things! Who needs hair anyway, right?  🙂

It was frustrating through junior high school and high school. Kids can be cruel! At least college was fine. Now, I just live with it. Easiest just to shave my head every other day or so, and wear my baseball hat 🙂

From BusinessWeek:

The genes are already associated with other autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis and type 1 diabetes, meaning that drugs may already be in the pipeline that could benefit people with hair loss, the researchers said.

“This greatly accelerated our ability to think about new drugs for patients with alopecia areata because so much work has already been done in these other diseases,” said senior study author Angela Christiano, professor of dermatology and genetics & development at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. “It is a huge advantage.”

The study is published in the July 1 issue of Nature.

Alopecia areata affects more than 5 million people in the United States, according to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation, making it one of the most common autoimmune diseases. Hair loss may be confined to bald patches on the scalp, but in some cases it extends to the whole scalp or entire body, including eyebrows and eyelashes.

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One Comment on “Scientists Find Possible Genetic Roots of Alopecia Areata”


  1. this is quite interesting. Check out my story on Kayla Martell on my site and let me know what you think!


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