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It has been postulated that Alopecia Areata (AA) is, at least in part, a neurologically mediated disease. Research supporting this theory includes the finding that nerves surrounding the hair follicles are collapsed. We want to take this research a step further and show that not only are these perifollicular nerves collapsed, but that their function is also impaired.
Condition or disease
To assess the function of perifollicular scalp nerves in AA we will look at the response of these nerves to the topical medication capsaicin. Under normal circumstances topical capsaicin is known to target nerves in the peripheral nervous system causing short-term release of the neuropeptide Substance P (SP) as well as long-term transient depletion of SP. We expect the AA patients will respond abnormally to topical capsaicin treatment.
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Layout table for eligibility information
Ages Eligible for Study:
18 Years to 70 Years (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:
Must have alopecia totalis or universalis.
Be in good health.
Not be taking any medications including topical medications
Be 18 years or older.
Be willing to apply study medication or vehicle as directed, comply with instructions and commit to follow-up visits.
Not have had hair chemically treated (including colored hair, permed hair, etc) within the month prior to the study.
Absence of extensive alopecia areata.
People not in good health.
People taking medications.
Allergies to capsaicin.
Presence of irritated or visibly inflamed scalp.
Having had hair chemically treated (including colored hair, permed hair, etc.) within the month prior to study.