Alopecia areata is a condition in which hair is lost from some or all areas of the body, usually from the scalp.
Because it causes bald spots on the scalp, especially in the first stages, it is sometimes called spot baldness. In some cases, the condition can spread to the entire scalp (alopecia totalis) or to the entire epidermis (alopecia universalis).
Alopecia areata is a common autoimmune condition, causing inflammation-induced hair loss, in which the body attacks its own anagen hair follicles and suppresses or stops hair growth. This disease has very limited treatment possibilities, and no treatment till now is either curative or preventive.
The A1 Medical Center Alopecia Treatment
The alopecia treatment is unique because it focuses on repairing tissue damage and restoring function to improve each patient’s quality of life.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and stem cells have emerged as a new treatment modality in dermatology, and preliminary evidence has suggested that it might have a beneficial role in hair growth.
Patients are treated by injecting the stem cells and Platelet-rich plasma by intradermal implantation with micro needle and in some cases by minimally invasive hair transplantation or by injecting them directly into the dammaged area, avoiding major surgical intervention in most cases.
Diagnostics and Physical Assessment
Before stem cell implantation, each patient undergoes blood tests at the clinic and a comprehensive assessment.
Step 1 – Bone Marrow and PRP collection
Bone marrow is collected from the patient’s iliac crest (hip bone) using thin-needle mini-puncture under local anesthesia. Though some pain may be felt when the needle is inserted, most patients do not find the bone marrow collection procedure particularly painful. The entire procedure normally takes about 30 minutes.
Once the bone marrow collection is complete, patients may return to their hotel and go about normal activities.
More detailed information on the bone marrow collection procedure is available in the Bone Marrow Informed Consent document (PDF file).
Step 2 – Laboratory Processing
The stem cells are processed from the bone marrow in a state-of-the-art, government approved (cGMP) laboratory. In the lab, both the quantity and quality of the stem cells are measured. These cells have the potential to transform into multiple types of cells and are capable of regenerating or repairing damaged tissue.
Step 3 – Stem Cell Implantation
The stem cells are implanted back into the patient.
Patients treated by intradermal transplantation may return home the day after treatment.
Forty-five patients with Alopecia were randomized to receive intralesional injections of PRP, triamcinolone acetonide (TrA) or placebo on one half of their scalp. The other half was not treated. Three treatments were given for each patient, with intervals of 1 month. The endpoints were hair regrowth, hair dystrophy as measured by dermoscopy, burning or itching sensation, and cell proliferation as measured by Ki-67 evaluation. Patients were followed for 1 year.
PRP and stem cells treatment were found to increase hair regrowth significantly and to decrease hair dystrophy and burning or itching sensation compared with TrA or placebo. Ki-67 levels, which served as markers for cell proliferation, were significantly higher with PRP. No side-effects were noted during treatment. It can serve this treatment as a safe and effective treatment option.
Rich Welsh – 27 years old
“…If you happen to have the chance of autologous stem cell treatment do not let it pass you by…”
Treatment Evaluation Process
In order to be evaluated for stem cell treatment, patients must complete an online medical history form. Once you’ve completed the online medical history and submitted it, a patient relations consultant will contact you. He or she will assist you with the rest of the evaluation process. Upon treatment approval, your consultant will also assist you with treatment scheduling and trip preparation.
Picture Source: Int J Trichology. 2013 Jan-Mar; 5(1): 47–49.