Gene Glitch May Up Inherited Hair Loss
Gene Defect Might Hamper Hair Growth, Researchers Report
Nov. 9, 2006 -- Glitches in the LIPH gene may cause inherited hair loss, a
The study, published in Science, doesn't blame hair loss solely on
the LIPH gene. People can lose their hair for many reasons, and other genes may
also be involved.
Still, the LIPH gene stood out in a hair-loss study by researchers including
Evgeny Rogaev, PhD, DrSci.
Rogaev is a psychiatry professor specializing in genetics at University of
Massachusetts medical School.
He and his colleagues studied healthy people from 50 unrelated families in
Russia with a condition of inherited hair loss and slow-growing hair. Those
participants were part of a much bigger genetic study of more than 350,000
Participants with inherited hair loss and slow-growing hair had a glitch in
their LIPH gene, the study shows.
The LIPH gene makes LIPH, a protein that isn't thoroughly understood but
seems to play a role in normal hair formation and growth, according to Rogaev's
The LIPH gene glitch appears to hamper the hair-growth process and "may
be a potential target" for the development of new hair-loss drugs, note
Rogaev and colleagues.