Yale scientists have successfully used an arthritis medication to fully regrow the head and body hair of a almost totally hairless 25-year-old man.
Researchers administered the drug tofacitinib citrate to the unnamed patient, who suffered from the autoimmune baldness disease alopecia universalis.
Within eight months, the man had regrown scalp and facial hair he’d not had in seven years.
‘The results are exactly what we hoped for,’ said Brett A. King, M.D., senior author of the paper, published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology. ‘This is a huge step forward in the treatment of patients with this condition.’
Unbelievable: Yale University researchers correctly guessed that a rheumatoid arthritis drug called Xeljanz could successfully regrow hair in a patient with the autoimmune disease alopecia universalis, which causes hairlessness over the whole body. This 25-year-old took the drug and by the end of eight months had all the hair back on his head, body and face that he hadn’t had in years
Huge success: The drug had successfully been used before on plaque psoriasis, which the 25-year-old Yale patient also exhibited, but had never been used to treat alopecia in humans
The man was referred to Yale Dermatology in New Haven, Connecticut to deal with an autoimmune disease that coincided with his alopecia, plaque psoriasis, according to a department news release.
Believing both his ailments could be alleviated with the same drug, researchers administered tofacitinib, made by Pfizer under the brand name Xeljanz, which is already FDA approved for the autoimmune disease rheumatoid arthritis.
According to Science World Report, the drug had successfully been used to treat psoriasis in people and alopecia in mice.
But the results were nonetheless shocking.
Photos of the man show him go from totally bald on top of his head to sporting a lustrous mane of blond locks.
‘There are no good options for long-term treatment of alopecia universalis,’ said King. ‘The best available science suggested this might work, and it has.’
The patient took 10mg per day for two months followed by 15mg per day for another three months.
By the end, he’d completely regrown scalp hair, developed eyebrows, eyelashes and facial hair, armpit hair and other hair.
‘By eight months there was full regrowth of hair,’ said co-author Brittany G. Craiglow, M.D. ‘The patient has reported feeling no side effects, and we’ve seen no lab test abnormalities, either.’
According to King, scientists believe the drug works by turning off the immune attack on hair follicles.
The authors said the drug helps in some but not all instances of psoriasis.