Stem Cell update: Aderans buys Intercytex Assets

Stem cell therapy or hair regeneration has been the buzz word in the hair loss community for some years now. It is our collective hope that stem cell therapy for hair loss will provide better solutions for people with thinning or balding hair.

Over the years there has been two main companies conducting extensive research into this area - Aderans Research Institute (ARI) and Intercytex ( or Regenerative Medicine Assets Limited). Both have spent millions of dollars in research and development into this technology. However, it was unfortunate to learn that Intercytex closed it's doors a few months ago. The next question was "what will happen to all of the research that Intercytex has done in this field?" That question has now been answered; Aderans has purchased their proprietary knowledge. In a press release from Aderans Research Institute the following comments were made:

"By acquiring the scientific assets of one of its chief competitors, ARI has further solidified its position as the leading research company in the hair regeneration industry."

"This acquisition is a major step forward for ARI," said Vern Liebmann, Vice President, Operations. "Through this deal, we've been able to consolidate the majority of key patents and know-how in the hair regeneration field, an achievement that can accelerate our ability to deliver a commercially viable product to market.

The deal comes as ARI is extending its Phase 2 clinical study of cell-based hair regeneration, in which it recently treated the trial's 100th subject. "We've acquired important proprietary knowledge that includes Intercytex's clinical efforts to date," noted Ken Washenik, MD PhD, Executive Vice President. "This information should substantially augment our efforts to create a viable cell-based solution for hair loss."

We look forward to what this consolidation in knowledge may mean for people across the world who suffer from hair loss, alopecia and thinning hair.

Read the full press release

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A Bitter Pill: The Contraceptive Pill and Female Hair Loss

Over the years we have seen an increasing number of young women coming through our doors with thinning hair and hair loss. These are young ladies who previously had thick hair and never thought they would ever experience the onset of female pattern hair loss. Many other hair loss professionals have also reported a rapid increase in the number of younger women with hair loss concerns.

It has been our suspicion for many years, and was recently confirmed by an article in the Sydney Morning Herald that the contraceptive pill may be responsible for this premature thinning of women's hair. Newer contraceptive pills such as Yasmin and Diane 35 ED can promote hair growth, older pills such as Loette and Levlen were triggering a genetic predisposition for hair thinning in women as young as their mid-teens. International Association of Trichologists director David Salinger said "the progesterone in some pills can have a male hormonal effect on the hair……….If a female has a genetic tendency and she then takes something which has male hormonal effects, that can trigger the thinning. I'm seeing many, many women in their 20s and 30s getting this type of hair loss.'' This problem is commonly acknowledged in medical books, but it is believed in the professional hair loss community that doctors did not address or highlight these concerns when prescribing the pill as it could be seen as favouring certain pharmaceutical companies. Unfortunately, young women are now reaping the devastating effects hair loss due to poor communication of this critical information. However, the problem is under-reported due to a lack of knowledge about genetic hair thinning and because the hair loss often needs to be severe before people take notice.

Young women should check with their doctors that they are taking some of the new forms of the pill that are less likely to cause side effects such as hair loss. Other Causes of hair loss. Other prevalent causes of early onset hair loss in women include acute stress, iron deficiency, vitamin D deficiency and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, all of which have become more prevalent as lifestyles have changed. Stress can also be a major contributor, usually of Telogen Effluvium or diffuse hair loss rather than female pattern thinning. Many more triggers are still unknown.

Read the full article

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HairMax Hair Fibres: Thin to Thick in Just Seconds

Hi Everyone,

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Sex, Drugs and… Hair Loss?

Interesting new clinical data about Propecia and similar drugs

Hi Folks,

The following article, that I have posted below details the potential long term side effects that can occur to people using pharmaceutical drugs to combat hair loss e.g. Propecia. It has been found that these drugs can permanently lower your sex drive, permanently cause erectile disfunction and increase breast tissue (unwelcome man boobs!).

Read the full article below (origininally posted on Web M.D.)

March 9, 2011 -- Medications that shrink enlarged prostates and treat male pattern baldness can have sexual side effects that may persist after the drugs are discontinued, a new research review suggests.

But a manufacturer of one of the drugs says side effects go away when patients stop taking the drug. And an independent expert is skeptical of the study's results.

The drugs, called 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors, block the action of the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT), an androgen that's more potent than its precursor, testosterone.

This class of medications includes Avodart, Propecia, and Proscar.

According to the new review, which is published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, long-term studies show that these medications can help shrink an enlarged prostate, a condition that affects as many as half of men over age 60, within three months to two years of use.

In other studies, about half of men who were taking Propecia for hair loss regrew some hair, while 42% saw no further hair loss, compared to those taking a placebo pill.

Additionally, a handful of studies have suggested that these kinds of drugs may lower the risk of prostate cancer, though that benefit is still controversial.

But the review says less attention has been paid to uncommon but potentially devastating side effects of these medications.

Those side effects can include anxiety, depression, loss of sex drive, difficulty getting or maintaining and erection, gynecomastia (growth of male breast tissue), and reduced semen production, which may affect fertility.

What's worse is that for some, these side effects persist, even when they stop taking the medication, according to the review.

"We don't really understand why, but the symptoms remain persistent or irreversible and even if they get off the drug,' says study researcher Abdulmaged M. Traish, PhD, a professor of biochemistry at the Boston University School of Medicine. "They no longer regain what they had before. Biologically, something gets shut off and gets shut off once and for all.'

Traish thinks that may be because nerves that are maintained by dihydrotestosterone become permanently degraded and can't be repaired even after men come off the medication.

Expert Skeptical

Critics of the paper, however, called its conclusions biased and bizarre.

"If you subtract the placebo group, 3% to 4% of patients may have some sexual side effects, and they go away when you stop the drug,' says Patrick Walsh, MD, the University Distinguished Service Professor of Urology at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, who also reviews studies for the journal Urology. "This is bizarre.'

"I've never seen a patient who had sexual side effects and when he stopped them he was impotent forever,' says Walsh.

When asked if he gets any financing from drug companies, he said, "Absolutely I do not. No.'

Walsh has researched the effects of 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors for 42 years and recently testified in FDA hearings against their proposed use for prevention of prostate cancer.

"If you take a look at the randomized, controlled trials, something like 3% of placebo and 6% of treated patients will have some sexual side effects,' Walsh tells WebMD. "It's one of the reasons why patients discontinue the drug and when they discontinue it, the problem goes away.'

How Many Men Are Affected?

Merck, the company that makes Propecia, did not respond to calls and emails for comment in time for publication, but according to Propecia's web site, sexual side effects -- including loss of desire, erectile dysfunction, and decreased semen production -- are uncommon, "each occurring in less than 2% of men.'

Additionally, "these side effects went away in men who stopped taking Propecia because of them,' the site says.

But studies included in the review found rates of erectile dysfunction related to the use of 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors that were significantly higher, in the range of 6% to 8%.

Traish thinks that may be because men who stop taking medications because of side effects may not have been counted in the final analysis.

Studies in the review also found that about 4% of men taking a 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor, compared to 2% of men taking a placebo, experienced reduced sex drive.

Another trial found that 4.5% of men taking Propecia experienced growth of breast tissue compared to 2.8% who were taking a placebo.

The review also reported that several smaller studies had noted significant increases in depression in men taking Propecia compared to those on a placebo.

Weighing Benefits and Risks

In what cases, then, would the benefits of being on these medications outweigh the potential risks?

"Someone who is a 69-year-old who has horrible benign prostatic hyperplasia, and he cannot urinate and he has to get up eight times a night to do that, I think the benefits outweigh the risks in this case,' Traish says. "But for a guy who is 39 years old with a little bit of receding hair line or a little bit of hair loss, I don't think there's any benefit that outweighs any risk at that point because the risk is far, far greater.'

And importantly, Traish thinks the dose of the drug may not matter. That is, lower doses may not be safer than higher doses in individuals who happen to be susceptible to side effects.

Traish says younger men who are thinking about taking the drug for cosmetic reasons ought to think twice.

"They ought to think three times, not just twice,' he says.

"Patients and doctors should not take this issue lightly. There should be honest, sincere, frank discussion before you put someone on these drugs.'

By Brenda Goodman

Have you experienced long term side effects from using Propecia, Proscar, etc?? Post your comments if you dare.

Reminder: Hair Loss consultations are now available in Melbourne and Sydney. Call us today on 1300 427 778 and find out the alternatives to pharmaceutical drugs to combat hair loss.

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Touching Story about Hereditary Alopecia

Hi Everyone,

I came across this touching article the this morning about hereditary alopecia, it was so nice I thought I should share it with you.

It speaks first about the painful experience Louise's hair loss, 27 years old at the time of writing, due to the hair and skin condition Alopecia. Lousie describes what it was like to have to buy her first wigs, meeting her soul mate and having enough courage to share with Him about her hair loss condition and his subsequent emotional support. However, that is not where the story ends. She is blessed with a beautiful baby, Nikkita. In a relatively short time also experienced Alopecia and lost all of her hair at the age of 18months. Of course this was devastating for Louise! She was mourning the loss of hair, a second time, but this time for her daughter.

Nikkita is now eight years old, and Louise shares Nikkita's story of bravery and zeal for living in spite of her alopecia. It is our experience that young children can be remarkably strong and resilient through these tough experiences and often cope better than adults. There could be a variety of factors for this, but that is for another blog.

Unfortunately, the story of Louise and Nikkita is not uncommon. We have several cases in our practice where either the son or daughter of our client, who has alopecia, also experiences alopecia. Statistics say about 25% of people with Alopecia have a family history of it.

We are dedicated to helping people with Alopecia through offering the latest treatments and hair enhancements or wigs, so they can look themselves again and feel confident.

To read the full article click here.

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Alopecia Article in Vogue Magazine

Hi Folks,

I was given this article featured in Vogue Magazine the other day by Chel Campbell at the Australian Alopecia Areata Foundation, about Alopecia. Chel was largely responsible for this article, she has been doing great job of increasing awareness of Alopecia and hair loss in the media and wider community. We hope that this helps promote understanding of the issues, concerns and feelings of people who suffer from Alopecia Areata/ Totalis/ Universalis and Androgenic Alopecia. (Thanks Chel for all the work you are doing!)

The article speaks about a number of different treatments for people with Alopecia (many of which are available here), the important role that dermatologists can play, and the personal experience of people who have Alopecia. Please make sure you take the time to have a read of the article.

***New!! Allow me to also take this opportunity that we have now introduced new hair loss camoflage - it is the brand new Hairmax Keratin Hair Building Fibers. These are similar, but we feel better than other products such as Nanogen, Toppik, etc. Watch this space and our website for more information. We expect it to retail for around $35-$45.

If you wish to pre-order your new Hairmax Keratin hair building fibers please call us. We are happy to express post them anywhere in Australia and New Zealand. If you want further information about them please call one of our offices located in Sydney, Melbourne.

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Early baldness linked to prostate cancer

There is bad news for young men who are experiencing hair loss. Early baldness has been linked to prostate cancer later in life.

A new study suggests men who moderately started to lose hair at the age of 20 are more likely to develop prostate cancer in later life - in fact their risk doubled. Therefore, there might be benefit from screening for the disease, as reported online in the cancer journal, Annals of Oncology. For further details please read on:

The French study compared 388 men being treated for prostate cancer with a control group of 281 healthy men and found that those with the disease were twice as likely as the healthy men to have started going bald when they were 20. However, if the men only started to lose their hair when they were 30 or 40, there was no difference in their risk of developing prostate cancer compared to the control group. The study found no association between early hair loss and an earlier diagnosis of prostate cancer, and nor was there any link between the pattern of hair loss and the development of cancer.

This is the first study to suggest a link between going bald at the young age of 20 and the development of prostate cancer in later life. Professor Philippe Giraud (M.D., PhD), Professor of Radiation Oncology at the Paris Descartes University (Paris, France) and at the European Georges Pompidou Hospital (Paris, France), who led the research, said: "At present there is no hard evidence to show any benefit from screening the general population for prostate cancer. We need a way of identifying those men who are at high risk of developing the disease and who could be targeted for screening and also considered for chemo-prevention using anti-androgenic drugs such as finasteride. Balding at the age of 20 may be one of these easily identifiable risk factors and more work needs to be done now to confirm this."

Androgenic alopecia, sometimes known as male pattern baldness, affects 50% throughout their lifetime. A link has been established between baldness and androgenic hormones, and androgens also play a role in the development and growth of prostate cancer. Finasteride (the anti hair loss version of this drug is called Propecia) blocks the conversion of testosterone to an androgen called dihydrotestosterone, which is thought to cause hair loss, and the drug is used to treat the condition. It has also been shown to decrease the incidence of prostate cancer.

Dr Michael Yassa (M.D.), currently Assistant Professor at the University of Montreal (Montreal, Canada) said: "There were only three men with stage III and none with stage IV hair loss at the age of 20, but the data revealed that any balding at stages II-IV (37 cases and 14 controls) was associated with double the risk of prostate cancer later in life. This trend was lost at ages 30 and 40. NB: stages of hair loss were classified as; no balding (stage I), frontal hair loss (receding hairline around the temples), vertex hair loss (a round bald patch at the top of the head), or a combination of both types of hair loss (stage IV). "We were unable to find an association between the type or pattern of hair loss and the development of cancer. This might be due to the very low prevalence of stage III and IV hair loss at the ages of 20 and 30 in our study."

The researchers say the link between baldness and the development of prostate cancer is still unclear. "Further work should be done, both at the molecular level and with larger groups of men, to find the missing link between androgens, early balding and prostate cancer," said Dr Yassa.

Source: Annals of Oncology

Original Article

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Wigs for Alopecia: The Future of Suction or Vacuum Wigs

We don't usually make predictions of the future, but when we see new technology emerging that makes good practical sense with multiple benefits to its users-- the writing is on the wall.

We are predicting that suction wigs or vacuum wigs will soon become a thing of the past and 'gripper' wigs will take over.

The pros and cons of Suction wigs

We first became acquainted with Suction wigs about 15 years ago. For their time, they were an excellent new wig and hair replacement technology. Suction wigs have been popular with many sufferers of Alopecia Areata and especially Alopecia Totalis and Universalis. The reason for their popularity lies in their scalp adhesion process. Suction wigs don't require double-sided tapes to hold them to the scalp; rather they 'suck' onto the head. This is achieved through a base material made from thick silicone that is moulded to the shape of the scalp. When fitted, it creates a vacuum seal that securely holds the wig to the scalp.

Suctions wigs have a number of positive points, namely:

  • no tape
  • natural scalp like appearance
  • hair drapes and behaves well when implanted correctly
  • Durability - they are known to last a long time if treated well

However, like most things there are negatives.

The bad points of Suction wigs are -

  • Heat - they can be hot to wear because heat cannot escape from the scalp through the silicone base
  • Don't Breathe - wearers often complain they feel 'clammy' as the wigs don't allow for the evaporation of perspiration from the scalp
  • Desensitising - wearers cannot feel the wind and rain on their scalp due to the silicone base completely covering their scalp (although some people may like this attribute)
  • Unnatural hair line - wearers struggle to create a natural hair line due to the thickness of the base of the wig
  • Heavy - the thick silicone base is heavy on the scalp and some clients have noted they cause migraines

NEW - Introducing Gripper Wigs

Gripper wigs are the next generation of Suction wigs. These wigs overcome the negatives of the old wig technology while keeping and improving on its positives. They breathe, they’re light, they can even create a natural hair line, and finally - they don't need adhesive to bond to the scalp. But these wigs don't 'suck' as their predecessors do; they 'grip'.

Gripper wigs incorporate the best of mono top wigs and suction wigs. They utilise a new proprietary silicone that grips to the scalp. This silicone is incorporated into the design of the mono top wig, mainly around the edges and a couple of strips throughout the sides and back. The grip and adhesion is so strong (on a correctly fitted wig) that girls have been known to do the most agressive hip hop dancing and they still remain firmly in place. The gripper technology allows us to use a lace front on the wig, which is universally the best way to create a natural hair line. Due to the fit of the wig, there is usually no need to use an adhesive on the lace, preserving both the integrity of the lace and the time of the user.

For these reasons, we believe that we will see the eventual end of suction wigs (except maybe in cold climates), and gripper wigs will be the next new revolution in wig technology.

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Does Mens hair loss bother women?  Ask Gisele Bundchen.

Hi Everyone,

This is one of those more fun posts, but it does address a common experience for us.

Do women care about their partners hair loss??? Yes.

Often women say they don't care about their partner's appearance, but you would be surprised as to how many women bring their men into our studio wanting their man to look a little, or even a lot better. Really, who wouldn't want to be with a man who looks five to ten years younger. A little extra hair can make a big difference.

In the article recently posted in the NYmag, they ask the question did Gisele send Tom Brady to the hair restoration specialist to get a hair transplant? We can't answer that question for you, but it does highlight that no matter how successful you are, like Tom Brady, and how beautiful your wife or partner is, like Gisele Bundchen........ you like to look good and feel good!

Have a look at our photo gallery and you will quickly see just how an age appropriate amount of hair can totally transform your appearance and boost your self confidence.

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Wig Subsidies in Sydney and New South Wales

Greetings readers,

Here is further information about wig subsidies, specifically about Sydney and New South Wales (NSW), Australia.

The government department you need to speak to is the Program of Appliances for Disabled People (PADP), it is a NSW Government program for people with disabilities.

The role of PADP is to assist eligible residents of NSW who have a permanent or long-term disability to live and participate in their community by providing appropriate equipment, aids, appliances and prosthesis- HUMAN HAIR WIGS ONLY

Our advice is that you contact the NSW Department of Health directly as the website doesn't seem to provide specific information:

Street address:
73 Miller Street
North Sydney NSW 2060
Australia Postal address:
Locked Mail Bag 961
North Sydney NSW 2059
Australia

Telephone:
within Australia 02 9391 9000
outside Australia 61 2 9391 9000

Fax:

within Australia 02 9391 9101
outside Australia 61 2 9391 9101

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