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Alopecia — Overview, Symptoms, Treatments, and Other Resources.
Alopecia (also known as Hair Loss, Male Pattern Baldness, Female Pattern Baldness)
Comprehensive Guides
Information on Alopecia from MayoClinic.com
Information on alopecia from MayoClinic.com.

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Information on Androgenetic Alopecia from the National Library of Medicine
Androgenetic alopecia is a common form of hair loss in both men and women. In men, this condition is also known as male-pattern baldness. Although androgenetic alopecia is a frequent cause of hair loss in both men and women, it is more common in men. This form of hair loss affects an estimated 35 million men in the United States. Androgenetic alopecia can start as early as a person's teens and risk increases with age; more than 50 percent of men over age 50 have some degree of hair loss. In women, hair loss is most likely after menopause. The AR gene is associated with androgenetic alopecia. Learn more from the National Library of Medicine.

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Alopecia Areata Information from the National Alopecia Areata Foundation
Alopecia areata is a common autoimmune disease that results in the loss of hair on the scalp and elsewhere. It usually starts with one or more small, round, smooth patches. It occurs in males and females of all ages and races, but onset most often occurs in childhood. It is estimated that approximately two percent of the population will be affected at some point in their lives, or over 4.5 million people in the United States. Learn more at the National Alopecia Areata Foundation.

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Hair Loss Information from the National Library of Medicine
Partial or complete loss of hair is called alopecia. Hair loss usually develops gradually and may be patchy or all over (diffuse). You lose roughly 100 hairs from your head every day. The average scalp contains about 100,000 hairs.Each individual hair survives for an average of 4 1/2 years, during which time it grows about 1/2 inch a month. Usually in its 5th year, the hair falls out and is replaced within 6 months by a new one. Genetic baldness is caused by the body's failure to produce new hairs and not by excessive hair loss. Both men and women tend to lose hair thickness and amount as they age. Baldness is not usually caused by a disease. It is related to aging, heredity, and testosterone. Inherited or "pattern baldness" affects many more men than women. About 25% of men begin to bald by the time they are 30 years old, and about two-thirds are either bald or have a balding pattern by age 60. Read more at the National Library of Medicine.

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Information on Hair Loss and its Causes from the American Academy of Family Physicians
It is normal to shed some hair each day as part of this cycle. However, some people may experience excessive (more than normal) hair loss. Hair loss of this type can affect men, women and children. Depending on your type of hair loss, treatments are available. If a medicine is causing your hair loss, your doctor may be able to prescribe a different medicine. Recognizing and treating an infection may help stop the hair loss. Correcting a hormone imbalance may prevent further hair loss. If adequate treatment is not available for your type of hair loss, you may consider trying different hairstyles or wigs, hairpieces, hair weaves or artificial hair replacement. Learn more at from th American Academy of Family Physicians.

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Fact Sheets, Tutorials, Interactive Tools, and other Interesting Information
Cicatricial Alopecia
The term "cicatricial alopecia" refers to a diverse group of rare disorders that destroy the hair follicle, replace it with scar tissue, and cause permanent hair loss. In some cases, hair loss is gradual, without symptoms, and is unnoticed for long periods. In other cases, hair loss is associated with severe itching, burning and pain and is rapidly progressive. The inflammation that destroys the follicle is below the skin surface and there is usually no "scar" seen on the scalp. Learn more from the Cicatricial Alopecia Research Foundation.

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Hair Loss Treatment
Brochure containing information about treatment options for hair loss.

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Hair Loss Myths
Brochure debunking common myths about hair loss.

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Fact Sheet: Hair Loss due to Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy can harm the cells that make hair. This means that hair on your head and anywhere on your body may fall out. Hair loss is called "alopecia." Read the fact sheet from the National Cancer Institute.

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Illustration: Cause of Male Pattern Baldness
Each hair sits in a cavity in the skin called a follicle. Over time the follicle can shrink causing the hair to become shorter and finer. Learn more at the National Library of Medicine.

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Videos and Podcasts
Podcast Video Podcast: Balding in America
Video Podcast explaining the causes and treatments of baldness. Listen at the Podcast Directory.

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Podcast Podcast: What causes hairloss?
Podcast explaining the causes of hair loss. Listen at the Podcast Directory.

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Podcast Podcast: Women's Hair Loss
Hair loss affects 30 million women in the United States. A Henry Ford Hospital dermatologist talks about the causes and treatments for women’s thinning tresses. Listen to the podcast at the Henry Ford Medical Group.

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Forums & Support Communities


Important Articles from Medical Journals
Full Text: Genomewide Scan for Linkage Reveals Evidence of Several Susceptibility Loci for Alopecia Areata
Alopecia areata (AA) is a genetically determined, immune-mediated disorder of the hair follicle that affects 1%–2% of the U.S. population. It is defined by a spectrum of severity that ranges from patchy localized hair loss on the scalp to the complete absence of hair everywhere on the body. In an effort to define the genetic basis of AA, we performed a genomewide search for linkage in 20 families with AA consisting of 102 affected and 118 unaffected individuals from the United States and Israel. Our analysis revealed evidence of at least four susceptibility loci on chromosomes 6, 10, 16 and 18, by use of several different statistical approaches. Full text available at Pubmed.

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Full Text: Male-pattern baldness susceptibility locus at 20p11
We conducted a genome-wide association study for androgenic alopecia in 1,125 men and identified a newly associated locus at chromosome 20p11.2. Full text available at Pubmed.

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Full Text: Diffuse hair loss: its triggers and management.
Diffuse hair loss can affect both sexes at any age. Anything that interrupts the normal hair cycle can trigger diffuse hair loss. Triggers include a wide variety of physiologic or emotional stresses, nutritional deficiencies, and endocrine imbalances. Loss of telogen-phase hairs is the most common. Hair loss during the anagen phase is usually caused by chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Finding the cause, or trigger, of the hair loss requires a thorough history and examination and will enable appropriate treatment. Patient education is key in the management of diffuse hair loss.

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Abstract: History of atopy or autoimmunity increases risk of alopecia areata.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to use the National AA Registry database to further investigate the association between history of atopy or autoimmune diseases and risk of AA. Abstract available at Pubmed.

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Full Text: Laminin-511 is an epithelial message promoting dermal papilla development and function during early hair morphogenesis
Hair morphogenesis takes place through reciprocal epithelial and mesenchymal signaling; however, the mechanisms controlling signal exchange are poorly understood. These studies show that epithelial-derived laminin-511 is a critical early signal that directs ciliary function and DP maintenance as a requirement for hair follicle downgrowth. Full text available at Pubmed.

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Common Male Pattern Baldness
Wikimedia Commons

Alopecia Areata Awareness Brochure
National Alopecia Areata Foundation

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