Genetic Test Could Predict Your Risk of Going Bald
17 February 2017, 12:31 | Sheila Harris
Afraid of baldness? Study could help predict the odds of losing one's hair
The scientists said they would expect to see even stronger genetic associations with hair loss if they were able to include information about which men experienced early onset hair loss.
A new study identifies more than 250 genetic locations responsible for male pattern baldness.
There are more than 200 new genetic regions that could be used to predict a man's chances of severe hair loss. As of now, the scientists can't confidently predict results for individuals, but they can "identify subgroups of the population for which the risk of hair loss is much higher", lending to the belief that the algorithm will continue to improve. Of the men included in the study, 16,700 showed no hair loss, 12,000 slight lost hair, 14,000 showed moderate hair loss while 9,800 displayed severe hair loss. Most are fated to at least have their hair thin out.
The study's principal investigator, Dr Riccardo Marioni, from the University of Edinburgh, said: "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. The researchers' analysis revealed 287 genetic variations, found on more than 100 genes which directly caused hair loss in men.
It has emerged however that men can mainly blame their mothers, and not their fathers, as most of the genetic signals come from the X chromosome inherited through the female line. Numerous identified genes are related to hair structure and development.
When compared with men's medical records, those in the top 10 per cent for these genes had moderate to severe hair loss in nearly two-thirds of cases.
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A new study - led by Saskia Hagenaars and David Hill of the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom - explores the genetic basis for the condition.
Two-thirds of American men will experience some degree of male pattern baldness by 35, and the condition is responsible for 95 percent of all hair loss in men. This will be based on the presence or absence of genetic markers present in men.
Scientists are also continuously performing experiments to be able to develop a drug to treat baldness and other related conditions.
The trawl though all of the mens' genes found 40 linked with baldness on the X chromosome.
"It was interesting to find that numerous genetic signals for male pattern baldness came from the X chromosome, which men inherit from their mothers".
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