Tuesday , July 27 2021

A stress hormone that has been found to cause hair loss, according to a new study

Can Reducing Stress Be The Secret To Hair Growth?

According to a new study led by Seiko Choi, from the Department of Stem Cells and Regenerative Biology at Harvard University, this may be exactly the case.

In general, a person has three stages of hair growth cycle: growth, degeneration and rest. In the first stage, the hair is pivoted out continuously, while the hair stops growing and its lower part contracts while remaining in the second place. In the third stage, however, the hair eventually falls out.

Although it has been known for some time that stress is related to hair that enters the third stage prematurely and hair loss, as well as the general connection between hair loss and chronic stress itself, but the exact mechanism behind this relationship remains a mystery.

What is known is that hair follicle stem cells (HFSC) play a vital role in hair growth by interpreting internal and external signals. Knowing this, Chu and the other researchers examined the role of another area in the body, especially the stress hormone that produces the adrenal gland – played in circulation. To do this, they removed them from mice using surgery.

Without adrenal glands for the production of stress hormones, the mice’s’ resting phase in their hair cycles was much shorter, while their hair follicles grew three times larger than normal. But when they were fed the hormone corticosterone, the stress hormone produced by the adrenal glands, their hair growth was suppressed.

So does corticosterone have a role in making hair? That’s what it means. HFSCs detect the stress hormone using signals, not by detecting the hormone itself. This was determined when the researchers selectively deleted the protein known as glucocorticoid receptors in the skin papillae. These receptors are the means by which the hormone signals the HFSC.

But how do the cutaneous papillae transmit the signal? According to the study, this is done using another protein, specific for growth arrest 6 (GAS6). Through this protein, the signal is transmitted to the HFSC through another protein, the AXL receptor.

These findings, published in the Academic Journal nature, Basically maps the process by which stress affects hair loss, and can pave the way to help treat hair loss caused by stress.
In addition, the findings also come in the wake of the COVID-19 epidemic, which has put considerable pressure on the global population as the battle against the disease rages.

However, the study warns that multiple issues still need to be examined. For example, corticosterone is not a human stress hormone, but is only considered as a rodent equivalent to human cortisol. As such, it is not known if the process is exactly the same. Second, the hair cycle stages have a different duration in humans, so it is not clear whether the hormones affect it in the same way. Third, the GAS6 protein is not limited to this particular signal. In fact, the researchers found that it was involved in the expression of several different genes involved in HFSCs. As such, dealing with it may have other unforeseen effects. In particular, there is concern that this may unintentionally lead to the growth of HFSCs that may cause the mutation.

It should also be noted that there are different types of hair loss associated with stress. According to the Mayo Clinic, one of them is the effect of telogen, which sees the hair pushed into the resting phase leading to significant hair loss. The other two, however, are different from each other.

One of them, known as Trichotillomania, is the condition in which stress, frustration and other negative emotions create an irresistible compulsion to take out the hair, the literal definition of “pulling your hair out”.

The third form is much different. Known as alopecia areata, this condition is an autoimmune disorder and sees hair loss caused by the body’s own immune system attacking the hair follicles. There are a number of potential causes for this condition, with high stress being one of them, although it should be noted that the condition is also known as a cause of significant psychological stress.

However, the findings in the study found valuable links between stress and hair loss, and this could pave the way for future studies that could investigate these links even further.

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