"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", Dr Hawkshaw pointed out.
Only two drugs (minoxidil and finasteride) were approved by the FDA for the treatment of balding, both of which have shown limited results. However, the side effects and unsatisfactory regrowth results make these drugs a mediocre option for people who want their hair back. They found that CsA changed how the follicles expressed a protein called SFRP1, which stunts the development and growth of hair follicles and other tissues in the body.
When the researchers treated hair follicles with the drug, it enhanced their growth.
The drug was actually originally created to treat transplant patients, to suppress transplant rejection and autoimmune diseases.
The research was released Tuesday from the open access journal PLOS Biology.
But because of its side effects, CsA was unsuitable as a baldness treatment.
They looked at the molecular mechanisms of an old immunosuppressive drug, Cyclosporine A, used since the 1980s to suppresses transplant rejection and autoimmune diseases.
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The lack of treatment for the hereditary condition has led to thousands of men undergo painful hair transplant procedures.
The research was achieved with donated scalp hair follicles from more than 40 patients.
It started with a hunt for novel agents to treat male pattern baldness, it marked down few candidates that were recognized to have hair growth as a outcome owing to their other damaging effects.
Dr. David Silverstein, a dermatologist at Stony Brook University Hospital who wasn't associated with the research, says this study is very preliminary.