University Hospital, Bordeaux, France is due to carry out an observational study investigating inflammation in cases of certain autoimmune disorders, including Alopecia Areata.
The aim is to be able to analyse and better explain the relationship between these chronic inflammatory conditions and the function of blood and skin T-cells.
Autoimmune alopecia - whether the scalp-only patchy hair loss of Alopecia Areata, or the more extensive baldness caused by Alopecia Totalis or Alopecia Universalis are known to have links to inflammation - as do many other hair loss conditions.
This study will hopefully expand upon existing knowledge to provide more insight into these enigmatic disorders.
The French team will take blood samples and skin biopsies from 450 participants, made up of men and women aged between 18 and 75 years, during the prospective, single-centre trial.
Fifty of the 450 have a diagnosis of Alopecia Areata whilst other subjects have vitiligo, psoriasis or atopic dermatitis.
Although it is not yet recruiting, an estimated completion date of June 2023 has been provided as part of the clinical trial registration.
Exclusion criteria for trial participants includes those using certain therapies or systemic treatments, such as acitretin, methotrexate, cyclosporine, Apremilast, infliximab, adalimumab, etanercept, ustekinumab, secukinumab, ixekizumab or dupilumab, for less than four weeks.
Despite methotrexate, cyclosporine, adalimumab and secukinumab being authorised treatments for severe psoriasis, and dupilumab being a proven eczema treatment, all of these five drugs have also been - or are currently being - tested as potential Alopecia Areata treatments.
At present, there are no MHRA-licensed and FDA-approved treatments for Alopecia Areata in any of its phenotypes, though topical applications of high strength minoxidil have been shown to promote hair regrowth in cases of the scalp-only form. This hair loss solution is authorised by both the MHRA and FDA in these ways for the treatment of Male and Female Pattern Baldness.
There are many potential Alopecia Areata, Totalis and Universalis treatments in development, with JAK inhibition looking to be a particularly promising route for all three phenotypes. However, studies like this new French one should help treatment researchers by providing more mechanistically-based information in order to help them understand more about what happens in this hair growth cycle-disrupting condition.
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