— Hair related updates at the bottom today.
— Last month, I decided to stop covering medical items of interest in my once a month “brief items of interest” posts. It was becoming a bit too much work to try to pick around 5-10 of the most interesting medical developments each month among the 100s out there.
Lo and behold comes today’s potentially blockbuster medical development regarding a subject matter that I have covered on this blog several times before: the world’s first ever head transplant (or more accurately, a “full body transplant” onto an existing “live” head). It seems like the world’s first successful head transplant ***albeit between two dead people*** has just taken place successfully in China under the supervision of Dr. Xiaoping Ren (with input from Dr. Sergio Canavero/aka Dr. Frankenstein), both of whom I have covered on this blog in the past. However, the procedure was undertaken between two cadavers (i.e., dead people) so is still not really a proper head transplant. Dr. Canavero claims that the transplantation of a live human’s head to a deceased human’s still working body (i.e., a true “full body” transplant) is now absolutely imminent. Lots of coverage about this in the media today and continued skepticism (but significantly less so than in the past). Is Dr. Canavero just in it for the fame or is he for real?
— Also, from the past two weeks, the first man to have his genes edited inside his body (US); and successful skin epidermis replacement via gene modification (Germany). Both developments are major groundbreaking medical breakthroughs.
And in Hair Research Updates:
— Dr. Rachita Dhurat is at it again. This time, her team makes the surprising conclusion that “A caffeine-based topical liquid should be considered as not inferior to minoxidil 5% solution in men with androgenetic alopecia“. There have been a number of studies over the years that suggest caffeine to beneficial towards hair growth. The stimulating effects of caffeine can reduce hair loss in some cases.
— Latest Aclaris patent grants covering baricitinib, decernotinib, ruxolitinib, and tofacitinib. It seems like all four can end up being used for treating androgenetic alopecia, especially tofacitinib.
— Reader “omg” posted a very interesting link today to a paper co-authored by renowned hair loss researchers Dr. Neil Saddick and Dr. Valerie Callender and others titled “New Insight Into the Pathophysiology of Hair Loss Trigger a Paradigm Shift in the Treatment Approach“. Lots of discussion in there about the role of inflammation in hair loss. The whole paper can be downloaded from the above link.
“The U.S. trials are planned to commence in 2018; we expect it to gain approval in Mexico first, perhaps in 2020, and then in the U.S. sometime after that”.