Experimental and early investigational drugs for androgenetic alopecia

    Hongwei Guo, Wendi Gao, Hiromi Endo, Kevin J. McElwee
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    TLDR New hair loss treatments may include topical medications, injections, and improved transplant methods.
    This 2017 document explores current and emerging therapeutic strategies for androgenetic alopecia (AGA), a common hair loss condition affecting roughly 50% of the adult population. The authors suggest that topically applied medications or intra-dermal injected or implanted materials are preferable treatment modalities, minimizing side effect risks as compared to systemically applied treatments. They propose that therapeutics which reverse the androgen-driven inhibition of hair follicle signaling pathways, such as prostaglandin analogs and antagonists, platelet-rich plasma (PRP), promotion of skin angiogenesis and perfusion, introduction of progenitor cells for hair regeneration, and more effective ways of transplanting hair, are the likely near future direction of AGA treatment development. The document reviews experimental and early investigational drugs for AGA, characterizes the follicular microinflammation and fibrosis shown in AGA, and identifies the source and functioning of androgens involved in AGA.
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