alsPatients who suffer from alopecia areata have new hope. A class of medications call janus kinase inhibitors proved in limited clinical studies to treat alopecia areata. The janus kinase inhibitors interrupt chemical pathways and appear to treat inflammatory disease and cancer.
FDA Janus Kinase Inhibitor Approval
Current FDA approval for janus kinase inhibitors includes treatment of psoriasis, myelofibrosis, rheumatoid arthritis, atopic dermatitis, and the itching associated with allergic dermatitis. Clinical trials are underway in other cancers and autoimmune conditions including Crohn’s disease.
Alopecia Areata Treatment with Janus Kinase Inhibitors
Studies out of Columbia University published in 2014 suggest that janus kinase inhibitors used orally in mice treats alopecia areata. Based on this early work, Aclaris Therapeutics has started work in humans using janus kinase inhibitors for both alopecia areata treatment and topically for androgenic alopecia treatment. Columbia University even announced patents issued for this specific application which are licensed to Aclaris. According to Aclaris’ website and the patents, janus kinase inhibitors may also treat androgenic alopecia.
Cause of Alopecia Areata
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition. T-cells infiltrate into hair follicles and consequently produce scarring. Once the hair follicle is scarred, it will not regrow. In early cases of alopecia areata, local infiltration of steroids can reverse the process. In all, alopecia areata affects about 5% of people. It creates patchy hair loss in limited cases and diffuse, complete hair loss in extreme cases. While not contagious, alopecia areata can be a psychologically debilitating disease.
Current alopecia areata treatment focus on the use of either injected or topical steroids and also other androgenic alopecia hair loss treatments. Even early responses also can lead to recurrences. As a result of alopecia areata, some people progress to complete hair loss.
For more information about alopecia areata and also other causes of hair loss, visit DFW hair loss expert Dr. D.J. Verret for a consultation.