A 2017 study revealed PTD-DBM might treat hair loss, but can it truly do it? Discover how one topical ointment may be the cure-all for hair problems.
In this article:
- Do All Men Go Bald?
- What Is the Main Cause of Baldness?
- Can Dead Hair Follicles Be Brought Back to Life?
- How Does Peptide Therapy Work for Hair Loss?
- What Do Zinc Finger Proteins Do?
- How Does Microneedling Help Hair Growth?
- What Is Valproic Acid Used For?
PTD-DBM: Is It the Hair Regrowth Treatment People Have Been Waiting For?
Do All Men Go Bald?
The buzz around PTD-DBM stems from the fact that many men are going bald. According to the American Hair Loss Association (AHLA):
- Over 60% of males at least 35 years old will have some degree of hair loss.
- More than 80% will experience hair thinning when they reach 50.
- Some may begin losing their hair before they are 25 years old.
Not all men go bald. Women are also not immune to hair thinning or even hair loss.
Regardless, hair problems can affect a person’s self-esteem. It makes finding hair loss treatments essential.
What Is the Main Cause of Baldness?
Baldness happens for many reasons. Take, for example, androgenetic alopecia or male pattern baldness.
It accounts for over 90% of men’s hair loss, although women can develop it differently.
It is a genetic condition characterized by a receding hairline for men. Over time, the hair at the top of the head begins to thin, leading to partial or complete baldness.
In women, hair thinning tends to happen all over the head. It may occur due to changes in the hormone, especially during or after menopause.
Higher levels of androgen, a sex hormone, in the hair follicles may also contribute to the problem. It can shorten the hair cycle so the follicles produce thin strands.
One of these is dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which can bind to receptors that cause the follicles to weaken and shrink.
In alopecia areata, the body’s immune system attacks the hair follicle. It is a type of hair loss with patches of baldness.
The overactive immune system prevents new hair from growing and causes existing ones to fall out.
Can Dead Hair Follicles Be Brought Back to Life?
Can hair grow back after balding? In reality, the answer is a mixed bag.
Some say hair regeneration is already impossible once you have dead hair follicles. Others claim you can still revive it as long as you can apply a treatment for androgenetic alopecia quickly.
After all, male pattern baldness or hair loss, in general, doesn’t happen overnight. It can take years of gradual changes.
Currently, prompt intervention can mean approved hair loss medications like:
*Trivia: The team of Prof. Choi Kang-yeol discovered this peptide therapy in 2017 at Yonsei University.
How Does Peptide Therapy Work for Hair Loss?
Peptide therapy is one of the emerging fields of medicine. It uses bonded amino-acid chains to modulate or introduce biological reactions.
That includes hair regeneration or regrowth. Why?
This is because amino acids make up proteins. Proteins play a critical role in hair development, especially keratin and collagen:
- Keratin comprises the hair strands.
- Collagen, which is abundant in the skin, can strengthen the hair from the roots.
Peptide therapy is different from platelet-rich plasma (PRP), which is a common scalp treatment. Platelets promote wound healing for damaged skin.
What is plasma? It is the light-yellow fluid of the blood that transports nutrients, hormones, and proteins.
In this procedure, doctors extract a blood sample from the patient and separate the plasma rich in platelets. They then inject them into the treated site such as the scalp.
One of the studied types of peptide therapy is PTD-DBM. It is a topical ointment or application that may work against a protein called CXXC5 (CXXC-type zinc finger protein 5).
What Do Zinc Finger Proteins Do?
Zinc finger proteins are proteins with grouped zinc ions. They create a structural motif that helps stabilize a fold or structure.
As one of the most abundant proteins, they perform other essential functions. These include influencing the death of cells and recognizing DNA.
On the downside, they may initiate hair loss by acting as a negative regulator for a pathway known as Wnt/β-catenin. This signaling pathway is necessary to encourage wound healing and hair growth.
CXXC5 can bind with another protein, Dishevelled (Dsh) protein. Together, they prevent the development of the hair follicle.
What PTD-DBM does is to disrupt the binding process of the proteins mentioned earlier. This way, they don’t interfere with hair regrowth.
How Does Microneedling Help Hair Growth?
To test the effectiveness of the new biomaterial called PTD-DBM, the researchers experimented on the bare skin of bald laboratory mice for 28 days.
They observed the material could stimulate hair growth at the follicles during the period. It did, however, used a procedure called wound-healing neurogenesis.
Concerning hair loss, wound-healing neurogenesis through microneedling means puncturing the skin tissue up to a certain depth.
The healing process triggers collagen production. In turn, it encourages hair development.
A 2013 study noted how microneedling increased the production of wound growth factors. These factors stimulate the creation of stem cells associated with dermal papilla.
The dermal papilla cells are the ones found in the extended bulb at the base of a hair follicle. They help contain the many blood vessels that nourish the strands and are responsible for hair regeneration.
What Is Valproic Acid Used For?
Another critical ingredient in PDT-DBM effectiveness is valproic acid. It is a popular treatment for conditions like seizures, migraines, and schizophrenia.
The scientists, though, discovered that it can activate the Wnt signaling pathway, which will then induce wound healing.
In other words, the entire therapy prevents hair loss and influences hair regeneration by:
- Wound-healing neurogenesis through microneedling, which results in the regeneration of the hair follicles
- Valproic acid, which activates the Wnt signaling pathway
- PTD-DBM, which is a peptide that prevents CXXC5 from interfering in the signaling pathway
Treating hair loss can be both frustrating and tricky. Options like PDT-DBM offers hope to many suffering or prone to baldness.
So far, the research still has a long way to go. The scientists are working on testing the safety of the substance.
They also need to conduct human clinical trials. The outcomes from laboratory mice may be different in humans.
Who knows, though, it may be worth waiting for. It may be one of the ultimate cures for hair loss.
What do you think about PTD-DBM therapy? Share your thoughts about it in the comments section below!
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