Does Stress Cause Hair Loss? Is There A Cure?
Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles and the Veterans Administration were conducting stress-hormone experiments on mice that typically develope complete baldness as a result of being genetically altered to overproduce a stress hormone. While the experiments were designed to simply study a chemical compound called astressin-B to determine if it would block the effects of stress on the colon.
The scientists treated the bald mice with small doses of the compund for five days, then returned them to cages occupied by several non-bald mice. When the researchers returned to the cages to retrieve the mice for further study, the once-bald mice were indistinguishable from their cage-mates — they had grown back their fur! The experiments were repeated several time, all with the same results.
The team of researchers began injecting the compound into young mice before they went bald. They found that those mice never lost their fur, suggesting the compound may prevent hair loss related to age as well as promote hair growth.
“The evidence to show that hair loss is not a permanent loss is shown very strongly in this study, and that by itself is very important,’’co-director of UCLA’s preclinical stress biology program, Million Mulugeta, D.V.M., Ph.D. told the Times. “The antagonist really triggers a mechanism that covers a lot of biological phenomena, including hair growth and hair color. We certainly intend to continue the research.’’
Stress is a physical and emotional reaction that can have positive or negative effects. Healthy stress stimulates hormones that give you extra energy and endurance. Your heart beats faster and your muscles tense. These normal body reactions help you focus concentration and other bodily functions in order to prepare for a challenge.
The negative effects of stress occur when the pressures of life are so constant, or so great, that your body has inadequate time to recover. After a certain point, your adrenal glands begin to weaken and affect your health in very serious ways, including hair removal loss.
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