Science and Tech


Arthritis Drug Helps Cure Rare Baldness Disease

A 25-year old alopecia universalis patient's hair grew back after using a groundbreaking new treatment.
Posted at 9:48 PM, Jun 20, 2014

A new treatment is giving some people who suffer from a rare disease new hope. This disease causes people to lose the hair on their head and body, but doctors have found treating the disease with an arthritis drug can actually help patients grow their hair back.

The disease is called alopecia universalis. It's an autoimmune disease, and can cause partial to complete baldness. (Via YouTube / Dinesh Bhutada)

"The body's germ fighting cells attack the hair's follicles as if they were a bacteria or a virus. This causes the immune system to stop the hair from growing. (Via YouTube / Belgravia Centre)

CBS reports Yale researchers were able successfully re-grow a 25-year-old patient's hair after eight months of treatment with the arthritis drug Tofacitinib Citrate.

In a Yale press release, co-author of the study Dr. Brittany Craiglow said, "The patient has reported feeling no side effects, and we've seen no lab test abnormalities, either" and senior author of the study, Dr. Brett King, said,"The results are exactly what we hoped for. This is a huge step forward in the treatment of patients with this condition." (ViaYale University)

MPR states this is the first reported successful treatment in the disease's history. 

The patient also suffered from a plaque psoriasis, a condition that causes scaly red areas of skin. The arthritis drug helped him with that condition as well. According to the release, Dr. King hopes to perform clinical trials to further study treatment options for patents suffering from different forms of alopecia.