Don't Stress Baldness, Cure May Be on the Way

Thursday, Feb 17, 2011  |  Updated 7:32 PM EDT
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If stress can cause your hair to fall out, can stress medication make it grow back?

Scientists studying the connection between stress and the digestive system may have stumbled upon a cure for baldness, according to KCBS.

Lab mice genetically altered with an overproducing stress hormone to develop head-to-tail baldness were treated with the astressin-B peptide, a new medication to block the overproducing stress hormone, for five days as part of the UCLA/Veterans Administration study, an offshoot of a study funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Three months later, the mice weren't bald anymore.

Scientists say they were able to get the hair to grow back in the lab mice 90% of the time with the drug.

In another experiment, Dr. Mulugeta and his team also treated non-genetically altered young mice with the drug before balding. The study found that their hair never fell out.

The drug also affected skin pigment in the mice, leading Dr. Million Mulugeta to suggest it might affect hair color.

One shot a day for five days was effective for up to four months, and a mouse's lifespan isn't even two years.

UCLA and the Salk Institute applied for a patent on astressin-B. It could be years before it's available for humans, and remember, the mice regained hair from head-to-tail -- not a bad look for a wookiee but not necessarily a good look for a man.

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