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Oct 25, 2015 06:04 AM EDT

Hair growth can be restored by blocking enzymes in hair follicles


A new study has revealed that blocking a group of enzymes in hair follicles may restore hair growth, UPI reports.

In the new research study performed on mice by researchers at Columbia University Medical Center, a combination of two drugs was used to block a group of enzymes in hair follicles.

Angela M. Christiano, PhD, and colleagues, who conducted the study, found that drugs that inhibit the Janus kinase (JAK) family of enzymes promote rapid and robust hair growth when directly applied to the skin, Sciencedaily reports.

The researchers used a combination of two FDA approved drugs, ruxolitinib, used to treat blood diseases, and tofacitinib, used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.

The researchers said that the findings were not a cure for male baldness. However, they acknowledged that the research had the potential to find a cure for male baldness.

"There aren't many compounds that can push hair follicles into their growth cycle so quickly," said Dr. Angela Christiano, a researcher at Columbia University Medical Center, in a press release. 

 "Some topical agents induce tufts of hair here and there after a few weeks, but very few compounds have this potent an effect so quickly."

The researchers found the two drugs awakened the follicle growth by blocking enzymes that caused them to stop growing hair.

The drug combination when tried on human hair follicles, grown in a dish and grafted onto the mice, caused the hair follicles to grow longer than the mice's own hair.

"What we've found is promising, though we haven't yet shown it's a cure for pattern baldness," Christiano said. "More work needs to be done to test if JAK inhibitors can induce hair growth in humans using formulations specially made for the scalp."

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