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    Potential new cure found for baldness

    A potential new cure for baldness has been discovered using a drug originally intended to treat osteoporosis.
    Researchers found the drug had a dramatic effect on hair follicles in the lab, stimulating them to grow.
    It contains a compound which targets a protein that acts as a brake on hair growth and plays a role in baldness.
    Project leader Dr Nathan Hawkshaw, from the University of Manchester, said it could “make a real difference to people who suffer from hair loss”.
    Only two drugs are currently available to treat balding (androgenetic alopecia):
    • minoxidil, for men and women
    • finasteride, for men only
    Neither is available on the NHS and both have side-effects and are not always very effective, so patients often resort to hair transplantation surgery instead.
    The research, published in PLOS Biology, was done in a lab, with samples containing scalp hair follicles from more than 40 male hair-transplant patients.
    And Dr Hawkshaw told the BBC a clinical trial would be needed to see if the treatment was effective and safe in people.
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    What causes hair loss?
    Hair loss is a daily occurrence and generally nothing to worry about. Some types are temporary and some are permanent.
    You should see a doctor because of:
    • sudden hair loss
    • developing bald patches
    • losing hair in clumps
    • head itching and burning
    • worry about hair loss

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