For years, millions of men have fought a losing battle against baldness – but it seems hope could finally be on the cards.
Scientists have discovered that the scourge of hair loss could be beaten by an experimental drug originally designed to treat brittle bone disease.
In lab experiments the osteoporosis drug had a dramatic effect on donated follicles, stimulating them to sprout growing hairs.
Here’s the science bit – at a molecular level the compound, known as WAY-316606, targeted a protein that acts as a potent brake on hair growth and plays a key role in baldness.
The discovery, still to be tested in clinical trials, could open up a whole new approach to treating hair loss in both men and women, researchers believe.
Lead scientist Dr Nathan Hawkshaw, from the University of Manchester, said: ‘The fact this new agent, which had never even been considered in a hair loss context, promotes human hair growth is exciting because of its translational potential: It could one day make a real difference to people who suffer from hair loss.
‘Clearly though, a clinical trial is required next to tell us whether this drug or similar compounds are both effective and safe in hair loss patients.’
MOST POPULAR TODAY ON YAHOO
- World’s oldest scientist who ‘regrets living to 104’ arrives in Switzerland to end his life
- Self-driving Uber car that killed pedestrian ‘detected her but chose to ignore her’
- Half of Brits think UK did the most to defeat Hitler – but other countries disagree
- Disturbing pig brain ‘immortality’ experiment could trap humans in a ‘living hell’
- IKEA fans who travelled 100 miles are turned away after new store gets opening date wrong
Currently only two drugs, minoxidil and finasteride, are available for the treatment of male pattern baldness – the classic type of receding hair-line hair loss in men.
Both have moderate side effects and often produce disappointing results.
Currently, the only other option open to patients losing their hair is transplantation surgery.