NEWLY FUNDED RESEARCH WILL HELP PHYSICIANS BETTER UNDERSTAND HAIR LOSS AND IDENTIFY NEW ADVANCES IN HAIR RESTORATION SURGERY

International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery Awards Numerous Research Grants

NOTE:  Grant recipients are available upon request for media interviews.

GENEVA, IL (October 19, 2016) — The future holds great promise for individuals who struggle with hair loss thanks to ongoing research that will yield next-generation advances in hair restoration surgery and medical therapies. During its 24th World Congress in October 2016, the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) awarded grants to leading clinical investigators worldwide.

“The ISHRS has long supported clinical research because it promotes our medical association’s dedication to excellence in patient outcomes by promoting the highest standards not only in clinical investigations, but also in medical restoration surgery practice and ethics,” said Ken Washenik, MD, PhD, FISHRS, ISHRS President.  “This year’s ISHRS research grant recipients are among leaders in their field, individuals who identify and perform important clinical studies that contribute to evidence-based best practices.  We commend these professionals, and all who perform quality research in our field, for bringing new and proven options to those with hair loss.”

Summary of each study:

Can Men at Risk of Developing Medication-Related Depression Be Identified?

The drug finasteride, sold under the brand name Propecia, is a widely used oral medication prescribed for male pattern hair loss (androgenetic alopecia.) While effective (research shows approximately 30 percent improvement in hair loss after six months of treatment,) the drug may cause some side effects in a subset of men. In this study,Use of Finasteride and the Onset of Depression: A Prospective Cohort Study, lead researcher Paul V. Shapiro, MD, of Minneapolis, MN, USA, hypothesizes that patients with a predisposition to depression who take finasteride are more likely to develop depression than those without any predisposition. Today’s hair restoration surgeons have few tools at their disposal to rule in or out potential candidates for finasteride therapy. The goal is to help surgeons define better candidates for the therapy and minimize the risk of side effects among subsets of patients. Co-researchers include David S. Josephitis, DO, FISHRS, and Mark Schuler, PhD, both of Minneapolis, MN, USA.

Can Improved Understanding of Post-Trauma Bone Cell Development Lead to New Treatment?

Heterotopic ossification (HO) is the presence of bone in soft tissue where bone does not normally exist, typically resulting from musculoskeletal trauma, spinal cord injury, central nervous system injury and burns.  Pain resulting from HO is severely debilitating, and no effective treatment strategies exist.  In a study titled Bisulfite Sequencing of Human Dermal Papilla Cells, researchers Gregory Williams, MBBS, FISHRS, faculty member at University College London and Claire Higgins, PhD, lecturer, Department of Bioengineering at Imperial College London, England, will evaluate dermal papilla cells from hair follicles to better understand what happens to the structure of the cells and surrounding area in response to trauma.  By more clearly isolating the mechanism of change in these cells due to high energy trauma, they seek to define dermal papilla cell plasticity. This will aid to the understanding of how HO develops and, ideally, identify opportunity for more targeted treatments.

Will Injections That Combine Stem Cells and Plasma Improve Hair Regeneration?

A study titled Biocellular Regenerative Therapy in Hair Loss: Use of High Density Platelet-Rich Plasma Concentrates and Cell-Enriched Emulsified Adipose-Derived Tissue Stromal Vascular Fraction will evaluate a first-of-its-kind approach to using a combination of stem cells and plasma for scalp injections to treat androgenetic alopecia and female pattern hair loss. Principle investigators Ken L. Williams, Jr., DO, faculty in the Department of Family Medicine at Western University of Health Science and Robert Alexander, MD, DMD, of Stevensville, MT, USA, seek to identify if this unique method will stimulate follicle niche and hair growth to produce subsequent regenerative effects. Unlike other stem/stromal cell treatments and methodologies, the procedure is done in an outpatient setting using a table top device and does not involve cell enhancement, conditioning, manipulation, or culture.  Associate researchers are Robert Niedbalski, DO, of Tacoma, WA, USA, Bernard Nusbaum, MD, FISHRS, and Paul Rose, MD, FISHRS, both of Coral Gables, FL, USA, and Ryan Welter MD, PhD, of North Attleborough, MA, USA, faculty in the Department of Family Medicine at Brown University.

Can Risks and Costs Be Reduced with Use of Sonication to Activate Platelet Rich Plasma?

Platelet rich plasma (PRP) carries more than 20 growth factors. For decades, PRP has been used by physicians across many specialties to accelerate wound healing and tissue repair. Research shows improved hair growth and density when PRP is used for hair restoration surgery. Various agents and approaches are used to activate PRP, but little research has been done to evaluate the merits of each.  With each, risks and costs vary. In this study, Bradley R. Wolf, MD, FISHRS, of Cincinnati, OH, USA, will study PRP using one agent (calcium gluconate) and sonication (application of sound energy) to activate cells. In this study titled, Growth Factor Concentration Influence on Scalp Hair Grafts, he will use this method and also a method using sonication with a placebo, and then compare the two approaches side-by-side at the time of transplantation of scalp grafts. The study seeks to identify the benefits of a low-risk method of platelet activation such as sonication. John P. Cole, MD, of Atlanta, GA, USA, and Chiara Insalaco, MD, of Rome, Italy, are co-researchers.

To help patients understand hair loss causes and available treatments, the ISHRS offers a series of videos at www.ishrs.org titled “Why do women lose their hair?” and “Why do guys lose their hair?”

About the ISHRS

The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) is a global non-profit medical association and the leading authority on hair loss treatment and restoration with more than 1,200 members throughout 70 countries worldwide. Above all, the ISHRS is dedicated to achieving excellence in patient outcomes by promoting the highest standards of medical practice, medical ethics, and research in the medical hair restoration industry. The ISHRS also provides continuing medical education to physicians specializing in hair transplant surgery and is committed to delivering the latest information on medical and surgical treatments to consumers suffering from hair loss, and most commonly from androgenetic alopecia –male pattern baldness and female pattern hair loss. It was founded in 1993 as the first international society to promote continuing quality improvement and education for professionals in the field of hair restoration surgery. For more information and to locate a physician, visit www.ishrs.org.

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