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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Hair loss in mice due to high levels of the stress molecule, CRF, was reversed when CRF signaling was blocked.

 

At the time they returned to the cages to find that their bald mice had miraculously grown their hair back, the scientists at UCLA had no intention of curing baldness. Originally, theirs was in fact a study aimed at reducing the harmful affects of chronic stress. The unanticipated side effect of their treatment could prove a boon to balding men and women everywhere, not to mention to the drug company that delivers the cure to them.

Stress is beneficial in small doses, heightening our ability to run away from predators or to concentrate while taking an exam. But chronic stress can bring about an array of mental or physical disorders such as high blood pressure, anxiety disorders, rheumatic diseases, muscle pain, a weakened immune system and neurodegenerative diseases. Chronic stress also causes our hair to fall out.

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