What's new in Alopecia Areata Research?
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New Areas of Research

What’s exciting is that new scientific understanding of alopecia areata is leading researchers in new directions.  Though there are currently no drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of alopecia areata, there are several exciting areas of research:

Janus kinase inhibitors

Janus kinases (JAKs) are a group of enzymes that play an important role in immune defense within our cells. Researchers have discovered that inhibiting this pathway can be beneficial in treating immune-mediated diseases, and several JAK inhibitor drugs have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and psoriasis.  Recent academic studies have shown that JAK inhibitors may have promise as a treatment for alopecia areata.

Source: https://www.jacionline.org/article/S0091-6749(20)31499-8/fulltext

Studying hair follicle development

By studying how hair follicles form, develop, and cycle through growth and resting phases, researchers hope to gain a better understanding of hair growth cycle biology that may lead to treatments for the underlying disease process.

Source: http://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/alopecia_areata/

Understanding stem cell biology

Epithelial stem cells are immature cells that are responsible for regenerating and maintaining a variety of tissues.  By studying the biology of these cells, scientists hope to gain a better understanding of factors that trigger alopecia areata.

Source: http://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/alopecia_areata/

Finding related genes

Scientists have identified genetic variations associated with the development of alopecia areata along with similarities to other autoimmune diseases, including type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and celiac disease.

Source: http://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/alopecia_areata/

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