287 New Genetic Regions Associated With Male Pattern Baldness

A study involving over 52,000 men has revealed many new regions in the genome that have an influence on male pattern hair loss

While a handful of genes have been correlated with male pattern baldness, we still don't have a clear picture of exactly what causes hair loss in so many men. Now, the largest genome wide associated study to date has been carried out by University of Edinburgh scientists, using data from 52,000 male participants of the UK Biobank initiative.

A complicated picture

This analysis revealed 287 genetic regions that may have some influence on hair loss. Based on their research, the team created a formula to predict the likelihood of disappearing follicles, which takes into account these multiple different sites. 

"We identified hundreds of new genetic signals. It was interesting to find that many of the genetics signals for male pattern baldness came from the X chromosome, which men inherit from their mothers. In this study, data were collected on hair loss pattern but not age of onset; we would expect to see an even stronger genetic signal if we were able to identify those with early-onset hair loss. We are still a long way from making an accurate prediction for an individual's hair loss pattern. However, these results take us one step closer. The findings pave the way for an improved understanding of the genetic causes of hair loss"

While the research unfortunately does not pinpoint any obvious new therapeutic targets, it does increase our understanding of the inheritance of hair loss. This may pave the way for further insights and future solutions. 

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