Androgenetic alopecia: An autosomal dominant disorder

    January 1995 in “The American Journal of Medicine
    Wilma F. Bergfeld
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    TLDR Hair loss in androgenetic alopecia is caused by genetic factors and androgen excess, and can be treated with combined therapies.
    Androgenetic alopecia (AGA) is a genetic disorder that causes hair loss in both men and women. It is an autosomal dominant disorder that presents with central scalp alopecia at puberty and is associated with clinical signs of sexual development and androgen excess. The disorder is caused by increased peripheral DHT metabolism, which affects hair follicles. Therapeutic modalities that utilize hair growth promoters, antiandrogens, and androgen blockade agents are most effective when used in combination. Studies have shown that androgens can inhibit adenyl cyclase in hair follicles and affect the response of dermal papilla cells to androgens. Additionally, the expression of steroid 5 alpha-reductase isozymes and aromatase in hair follicles and sebaceous glands may also play a role in androgenetic alopecia.
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