Joint research between Hadassah Medical Center and Columbia University has found an arthritis medication to be effective in treatment of AA
Balding as a result of Alopecia Areata
Alopecia Areata (“AA”) is an autoimmune disease, commonly found in children and adults alike, which causes sudden or gradual hair loss. In most cases, AA causes loss of scalp and/or facial hair, but may also cause hair loss from other parts of the body. Psychological/emotional damage can be caused as well – hair loss of any nature generally leads to a loss of self-esteem and self-confidence.
In milder cases, hair may spontaneously grow back on its own, or as a result of local treatment. That said, similar treatment in more severe AA cases has proven to be less effective. In recent years, intensive research has been conducted to fully understand the pathological basis of AA, in an attempt to develop new and innovative treatment of the disease.
Dr. Yuval Ramot and Prof. Abraham Zlotogorski, of Hadassah Ein Kerem’s Department of Dermatology & Hair Loss Clinic, along with Professor Yackov Berkun of Hadassah Mt. Scopus’ Pediatric Unit, have discovered that Baricitinib, a medicine in development for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, may prove effective with treatment of severe AA as well. Their research, conducted in conjunction with researchers from Columbia University, has found this treatment effective in both animal and human subjects. As a JAK inhibitor, Baricitinib’s ability to suppress inflammatory diseases like arthritis can be successfully applied to AA as well.
Prof. Abraham Zlotogorski serves as the director of Hadassah Ein Kerem’s Department of Dermatology & Hair Loss Clinic. The clinic provides innovative treatment for a wide variety of skin and hair diseases, including alopecia or hirsutism, and has vast experience in treatment of AA in its various forms of severity. Dr. Ramot on the findings of their research: “This JAK-inhibitor treatment based discovery opens a variety of options for future treatment of AA. That said, extensive clinical trials are still needed in order to fully confirm the findings, before marketing these new medications for treatment of AA.” The research team hopes to begin such clinical trials in the near future.
The complete research article is available online (curtosy of EBioMedicine journal)