Is Patterned Hair Loss Genetic?

Yes and no. Genetics do play a role by causing a predisposition or a susceptibility to hair loss in individuals. However, saying something is genetic does not mean it is caused by one gene alone.  It is becoming evident the susceptibility to hair loss is driven by multiple genes, not just one. Thus what we consider male pattern baldness is Polygenic.

As more discoveries in the human genome were made researchers began to see previously unknown genetic complexities that played a role in the inheritance or manifestation of AGA.

As of March 2008 only one gene was identified to be related with AGA: “The origin of AGA is genetic, with the X chromosome located androgen receptor gene (AR) being the only risk gene identified to date.” [8] Quickly after, by September 2008, a better understanding of the polygenic nature of AGA was acquired: “Androgenetic alopecia (AGA) is a common heritable polygenic disorder whose genetics is not fully understood, even though it seems to be X-linked.” [16]
Based on current knowledge, we can define AGA by saying that inheritance of AGA traits is polygenic, meaning the inheritance has many, or several, different sources of origin.

Written on July, 22 2010

Comment:

Polygenic is a better word to associate with male pattern baldness than Androgenic since research found non-androgen dependent pathways involved with male pattern baldness. I am also of the opinion that genetics only play a role but do not determine the outcome. Research does show that environmental factors can trump genetics, they can trigger genetics, alter genes or prevent the expression of certain treats. Exercise, a good diet, a clean environment, a good mindset, and healthy gut flora all contribute to optimal health and can trump genetic predisposition.

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In women, hair loss may following the female pattern hair loss could be caused by many triggers including adrenal fatigue, hypothyroid, lack of absorption, or poly-cystic ovarian syndrome etc.

Edited 1/2/2011

*8 – Hillmer AM, Flaquer A, Hanneken S, Eigelshoven S, Kortüm AK, Brockschmidt FF, Golla A, Metzen C, Thiele H, Kolberg S, Reinartz R, Betz RC, Ruzicka T, Hennies HC, Kruse R, Nöthen MM. “Genome-wide scan and fine-mapping linkage study of androgenetic alopecia reveals a locus on chromosome 3q26” Am J Hum Genet. 2008 Mar;82(3):737-43. Epub 2008 Feb 21. Department of Genomics, Life and Brain Center, University of Bonn, D-53127 Bonn, Germany.  Retrieved July 14, 2010 from US NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE (PubMed) on the World Wide Web: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed (PubMed Abstract)

*16 – Prodi DA, Pirastu N, Maninchedda G, Sassu A, Picciau A, Palmas MA, Mossa A, Persico I, Adamo M, Angius A, Pirastu M. “EDA2R is associated with androgenetic alopecia” J Invest Dermatol.  2008 Sep;128(9):2268-70. Epub 2008 Apr 3. Shardna Life Sciences, Pula, Italy. Retrieved July 14, 2010 from US NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE (PubMed) on the World Wide Web: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed (PubMed Abstract)






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