A medication for osteoporosis (thinning bones), certain autoimmune diseases, and suppression of transplant rejection could reduce hair loss (androgenetic alopecia) in both men and women, according to a study from the University of Manchester's Centre for Dermatology Research in the United Kingdom.
Researchers performed a gene expression analysis of human scalp hair follicles treated with cyclosporine A donated by people undergoing hair transplantation surgery. They found that the drug reduces the expression of a protein that inhibits the development and growth of hair follicles and other tissues, stimulating the follicles. A well-known side effect of cyclosporine A is unwanted hair growth.
Results of this study were published in PLOS Biology. The next step is to perform clinical trials to determine if cyclosporine A, or a similar compound, is safe and effective in people with hair loss.