Alopecia Areata Advancement Takes a Village

by Lowell A. Goldsmith, MD

Advances in understanding alopecia areata (AA) and developing new treatments will “take a village”. The inhabitants of the village, including patients with AA, met in Bethesda Maryland in November 2012. A synopsis of their deliberations and plans is available in the JID Symposium Proceedings of December 2013. The 79-page symposium encapsulates their diversity and their analytical and scientific approaches. In  the contemporary electronic era, the proceedings of a symposium in the old-fashioned print format is still useful and powerful, exposing the reader to topics that might be glossed over with  purposed electronic searching. Print also allows reflection and reiteration, which pixels tend to inhibit. This  reflection is especially important in a complex disease like AA where genes count, the immune system counts, the neuroendocrine system probably plays a role, and where therapy is still elusive. In the village reside the best and brightest clinicians and investigators concerned with this disease.  The pioneering work of the National Alopecia Areata Foundation (NAAF) in developing and supporting the Alopecia Areata Registry, Biobank and Clinical Trials Network (Registry) continues to yield valuable data and allowed rapid gene-wide mapping studies in this disease.  (The Registry was developed and supported for 12 years by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), under award number HHSN268200682279C and is now managed and supported totally by NAAF.)

The village is now focusing on the task of developing approaches to performing critically planned, executed, and interpretable clinical trials as well as the rapid identification of new and safe drugs for treating patients with AA. Innovative animal models will aid these efforts. The village is helped in its efforts by industry, government, and private donations. There is the right mix people and questions, and when more answers are forthcoming there will be dancing and singing as the entire village celebrates with the patients, who are most keen on the outcomes  of these studies.


Image credit:  Cover Image from National Alopecia Areata Foundation Symposium Proceedings entitled “From Basepairs to Bedside:  Innovations in the Immunology & Clinical Science of Alopecia Areata”.



4 thoughts on “Alopecia Areata Advancement Takes a Village

  1. I was diagnosed with Alopecia Areata. A dermatologist ran a few test and confirmed this through a skin biopsy. The test showed an abnormal concentration of immune cells in the affected area. Soon after I was prescribed with topical steroid which comes in the form of cream. Since the treatment showed very little effect, I was later prescribed with steroid jabs. This method showed some improvement, however it was short term as the hair that grew fell off after a few weeks. While doing some research through the net I came across a treatment called PRO ALOPECIATA ADVANCED FORMULATION. It is formulated with pure herbs and is only available online,
    After 4 weeks of usage I noticed the spot on my scalp was becoming smaller and I continued to my second bottle. I was surprised when the spot was totally covered with hair by the 3rd month of treatment. Although this treatment works slowly, the result was remarkable. The setback has to be the price and the delivery time.


  2. Hello, I was diagnosed with AA in 2012. I also was started out on a topical cream that had no effect! And then switched to an oral steroid … Which did nothing for me as well except gain 45 pounds In a month and a half. 6 months after I initially started to lose my hair it was all gone! I stopped the treatment and within 3 months my hair started to grow back slowly and …. white! Today I have most all my hair back with some loss every so often. I fully believe my diet of healthier choices and a calmer mind set helped my hair re growth! Good luck to all!


  3. I have had AA for the past 12 years, it was not until last year that i lost enough hair,75% of it to consider shaving the rest…when i shaved the rest of the strands, i was so releaved… I finally felt normal, no hair to me was a better solution then thin hair comes and goes, but it was good for me…


  4. I have had AA for the past 16 years. It only took two weeks for me to lose every hair on my body. I was completely bald for 2 years until I got pregnant with my son. With each trimester I started getting a little more hair growth but never enough to not have to wear a wig. Since then I get patches of hair sporadically – they come and go. I decided to stop wearing a wig a year ago and I love it! I have a little hair to shave everyday but it is so much easier than wearing a wig and worrying about it moving around or falling off…lol For me, my AA does not dictate how I live my life. I have always been very happy. Not having hair just doesn’t matter to me – I am just happy to be healthy. I have a tremendous amount of support from friends and family!


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