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Hadassah Collaborates with Columbia University to Identify Treatment for Alopecia

Friday, Jun 5 2015

Working in collaboration with Columbia University, a team of Hadassah Medical Organization physicians have discovered that an arthritis medication may be the solution to baldness caused by alopecia.

The researchers have found that Baricitinib, a medicine in development for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, may prove effective for severe Alopecia Areata (AA), a common autoimmune disease which causes sudden or gradual hair loss. "Despite its high prevalence," the team reports, "there are no Food and Drug Administration-approved treatments for AA."

The team, including Hadassah Dermatologist Dr. Yuval Ramot, Prof. Abraham Zlotogorski, Director of Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem's Department of Dermatology and its Hair Loss Clinic, and Prof. Yackov Berkun of Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus' Pediatric Unit, has found the medicine to be effective in both animals and humans.

"This discovery opens a variety of options for future treatment of AA," notes Dr. Ramot. "That said, extensive clinical trials are still needed in order to fully confirm the findings, before marketing these new medications for treatment of AA."

The research team hopes to begin such clinical trials in the near future. The present study is highlighted in the April 2015 issue of EBioMedicine.

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