Male pattern baldness: current treatments, future prospects

    September 2008 in “ Drug Discovery Today
    Justine A. Ellis, Rodney Sinclair
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    TLDR Current treatments for male pattern baldness include minoxidil and finasteride, with new options being developed.
    In 2008, male pattern baldness (MPB) was a common condition affecting up to 50% of Caucasian men by middle age, with significant psycho-social impacts. The pathophysiology involved changes in the hair follicle cycle, and the etiology was linked to androgens and genetics, particularly the androgen receptor (AR) gene. Treatments at the time included minoxidil, which was effective in about half of the men for halting hair loss and inducing regrowth in a smaller percentage, and finasteride, which reduced scalp DHT concentrations and halted hair loss in many men, with some experiencing regrowth. However, both treatments had limitations, including side effects and the resumption of balding upon cessation. New treatments like dutasteride and latanoprost were in development, and there was a need for a better understanding of MPB's molecular mechanisms to develop more effective, targeted treatments.
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