London: Here`s a ray of hope for the bald -- scientists claim to have identified a hair-loss protein which they claim could pave the way for new treatments.
Researchers at University of Pennsylvania say that their discovery could mean treatments could someday be developed to suppress the protein and stop baldness, `The Daily Telegraph` newspaper reported.
For their study, the researchers carried out tests on tissue from the scalps of more than 20 men with male pattern baldness, known as androgenic alopecia (AGA). The results showed bald areas had levels of the protein PGD2 three times higher than hairy areas.
Lead researcher Prof George Cotsarelis said: "Our findings should lead directly to new treatments for the most common cause of hair loss in men, AGA. The potential for
developing these compounds into topical formulations for treating AGA should elicit great interest moving forward."
He added: "Although a different prostaglandin was known to increase hair growth, our findings were unexpected, as prostaglandins haven`t been thought about in relation to hair loss, yet it made sense that there was an inhibitor of hair growth, based on our earlier work looking at hair follicle stem cells."
The findings have been published in the `Science Translational Medicine` journal.