Scientists find gene linked to hair loss

February 25, 2008 1:37:14 PM PST
Researchers discovered a gene linked to hair loss that could lead to new drugs to treat baldness. The gene is responsible for a rare hereditary form of hair loss.

But researchers reporting in the journal Nature Genetics think this finding gives them a new avenue to target for many people with thinning hair.

Currently drugs sold to treat baldness only help people maintain their existing hair rather than grow new hair follicles. The discovery shows that a substance needed to stimulate hair growth can't do its job and bind to receptors when the gene is defective. The finding could lead to drugs that target these proteins to boost their growth.