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Response of Topical Capsaicin in Alopecia Areata

This study has been completed.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
University of Minnesota - Clinical and Translational Science Institute Identifier:
First received: September 12, 2005
Last updated: May 30, 2014
Last verified: May 2014

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 Intervention Phase
Alopecia Areata
Drug: Capsaicin
Phase 4

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Non-Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Pharmacokinetics Study
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Diagnostic
Official Title: Perifollicular Nerves in Alopecia Areata: Response to Topical Capsaicin

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by University of Minnesota - Clinical and Translational Science Institute:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Topical capsaicin will quantitatively decrease the amount of Substance P in the scalp of AA patients.

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • The scalps of AA patients may be less sensitive to stimuli.

Estimated Enrollment: 24
Study Start Date: August 1997
Estimated Study Completion Date: June 2000
Detailed Description:

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.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 70 Years
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • 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.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • 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.
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00176969

United States, Minnesota
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States, 55455
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Minnesota - Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Principal Investigator: Maria Hordinsky, MD University of Minnesota - Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Principal Investigator: Marna Ericson, Ph D University of Minnesota - Clinical and Translational Science Institute
  More Information

No publications provided

Responsible Party: University of Minnesota - Clinical and Translational Science Institute Identifier: NCT00176969     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 9707M00122
Study First Received: September 12, 2005
Last Updated: May 30, 2014
Health Authority: United States: Institutional Review Board

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Alopecia Areata
Hair Diseases
Pathological Conditions, Anatomical
Skin Diseases
Dermatologic Agents
Peripheral Nervous System Agents
Pharmacologic Actions
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Sensory System Agents
Therapeutic Uses processed this record on March 03, 2015