Hair loss is one of several side effects of the aging process, and can be devastating experience for those who encounter thinning hair or baldness at an early age.
According to the American Hair Loss Association, "Androgenetic Alopecia or common male pattern baldness (MPB) accounts for more than 95% of hair loss in men. By the age of thirty-five two-thirds of American men will experience some degree of appreciable hair loss and by the age of 50 approximately 85% of men have significantly thinning hair."
The risk of baldness is hereditary and medical hair restoration procedures offer one solution for reshaping the hairline and stimulating new hair growth.
However, researchers at McGill University, King's College London and GlaxoSmithKline, Inc. are conducting comprehensive studies to lcoate the baldness gene. They recently identified two genetic variants on chromosome #20 that may be linked to the risk of developing male pattern baldness. The study concludes that the cause of baldness may be traced to this chromosome, and that scientists may soon be able to intercept the development of this variant to lower the risk of becoming bald.
Dr. Brent Richards of McGill's University Faculty of Medicine explains that:
Researchers have long been aware of a genetic variant on the X chromosome that was linked to male pattern baldness...however it's been long recognized that that there must be several genes causing male pattern baldness. Until now, no one could identify those other genes. If you have both the risk variants we discovered on chromosome 20 and the unrelated known variant on the X chromosome, your risk of becoming bald increases sevenfold. (Source: Medical News Today)
According to the results of this study, one in seven men are at risk for developing male pattern baldness at some point in their lives. They may pursue medical hair restoration procedures such as hair transplants, the Bosley LaserComb and Propecia , but researchers may soon find a way to modify the variant gene to prevent the condition from happening in the first place.