Some important new research coming out of Bonn, Germany has shed light on one particular gene responsible for a rare type of hair loss, Hereditary Hypotrichosis Simplex. The gene they have been studying is the LSS gene, which regulates lanosterol synthase, an enzyme important in the metabolism of cholesterol. This metabolism of cholesterol plays a critical role in the function of the hair follicle, and alteration of the gene’s function changes the way hair grows.
Since the method of inheriting the disease is known—it is autosomal dominant or autosomal recessive—isolating the gene that causes it was straightforward. The challenge has been figuring out what was going wrong with the gene.
Because those afflicted do not show any other symptoms, and hair loss is the only problem, researchers knew that whatever anomalies they discovered in an affected gene directly influenced hair loss and nothing else.
So what is Hereditary Hypotrichosis Simplex (HHS)?
Hypotrichosis simplex is a very rare hereditary form of hair with only a few hundred cases in the world. There is more than one gene having anomalies in HSS, and several have been identified. There are also some slightly different subtypes of the disease, including one in which the disease only affects the scalp.
Children are born with the disease but initially, their hair appears normal. In early childhood, the hair becomes more and more sparse, and hairs grow shorter and shorter until most often there are almost no hairs left anywhere on the body. There is a progressive miniaturization of the hair follicle, not unlike what happens in typical androgenetic alopecia, except in HHS, the problems with the hair follicles are diffuse and equally spread out. In androgenetic alopecia, the hair loss is limited to specific areas of the scalp and follows a set pattern.
Physiologically, hair loss is complex and can have many different chemical or hormonal parts contributing to it. Every bit of new research adds to our overall understanding of hair loss and leads us one step closer to new treatments. We’re thrilled with this discovery.
Anyone suffering from sudden and significant hair loss should see his or her family doctor, but we are here for you when you’re ready to start treatment for hair loss.
If you have any questions about treatment for hair loss or any of our products, we encourage you to call us directly at (844) 280-468