|Published : 16 Apr 2017, 13:33:57|
Baldness study finds potential predictors
Researchers have come across promising findings for predicting male pattern baldness, though it has a way to go for making accurate baldness predictions for any given individual, according to GenomeWeb.
Researchers from the UK searched for common variants involved in baldness based on array-based genotyping information for more than 52,000 UK Biobank participants between the ages of 40 and 69 years old. Their findings, appearing online recently in PLOS Genetics, uncovered hundreds of variants on the autosomal chromosomes or X sex chromosome coinciding with male pattern baldness.
With these data, the team took a crack at coming up with a variant-based tool for predicting baldness in a subset of the original participants.
"We are still a long way from making an accurate prediction for an individual's hair loss pattern. However, these results take us one step closer," senior author Riccardo Marioni, a genomic and experimental medicine researcher at the University of Edinburgh, said in a statement. "The findings pave the way for an improved understanding of the genetic causes of hair loss."
Past genetic studies suggest that some of the strongest genetic contributors to male pattern baldness fall on the X chromosome, the sex chromosome a man inherits from his mom, Marioni and his co-authors noted. Even so, much of the genetic architecture of baldness remains unknown, making it difficult to come up with strategies to predict, treat, or understand the trait or its apparent ties to conditions such as prostate cancer and heart disease.