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Genetic Basis of Alopecia Areata Established for First Time by Columbia Research Team

Christiano NEW YORK (June 30, 2010) – A team of investigators led by Columbia University Medical Center has uncovered eight genes that underpin alopecia areata, one of the most common causes of hair loss, as reported in a paper in the July 1, 2010 issue of Nature.  Since many of the genes are also implicated in other autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis and type 1 diabetes – and treatments have already been developed that target these genes – this discovery may soon lead to new treatments for the 5.3 million Americans suffering from hair loss caused by alopecia areata. (Full press release)

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