Snippet from the article:
New findings that show T-cell activation plays a critical role in the development of alopecia areata has opened new doors to treatment.
A report last year from a genome-wide association study involving 1,054 patients with alopecia areata (AA) and more than 3,000 controls, identified eight genes strongly linked to the disease (Nature 2010;466:113-7). One of the gene’s codes for a ligand, ULBP3, appears in the dermal sheath of hair follicles in patients with AA. The ULBP3 ligand appears responsible for attracting the cluster of T cells that produce the characteristic histopathology of affected hair follicles, Angela M. Christiano, Ph.D., said at the meeting.
Read the rest — Genetic Basis of Alopecia Areata Leads to Abatacept Trial
Abatacept is a rheumatoid arthritis medication marketed as Orencia. The study will include 56 patients receiving either an abatacept or placebo injection over the course of 6 months.
Dr. Christiano is a top physician that has made treating alopecia areata her mission, and I hope this study shows some promise for those suffering with this disease.