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Scientists have identified a new gene which cause hair loss.
The gene called APCDDI, causes a progressive form of hair loss, beginning from childhood. This disease is known as hereditary hypotrichosis simplex. The disease is caused by a phenomenon called hair follicle miniaturization, which is the same key feature of male pattern baldness or androgenetic alopecia. When hair follicles go through this miniaturization process, they shrink or narrow, causing the thick hairs to be replaced by thin hairs known as 'peach fuzz'.
These two conditions, hereditary hypotrichosis simplex and male pattern hair loss, share the same physiological process. The gene discovered now does not explain the complex process of male pattern baldness, say the experts.
The new gene has been identified by a team of investigators from Columbia, Rockefeller and Stanford Universities. The team found that APCDDI gene, which is located in a specific region on chromosome 18 is also implicated in other forms of hair loss, including androgenetic alopecia and alopecia areata.
The finding has been reported in a paper in the April 15th issue of Nature.