Alopecia areata (AA) is a condition that causes hair loss. But the amount of hair loss and the duration of time that it persists varies greatly between individuals.
The reason for this is unclear, as is so much about the AA. While we know that it’s an auto-immune condition, we don’t have enough information about the causes or outcomes to be able to identify a cure.
However, we are getting closer. We know a lot more about AA than we did even a decade ago, and we can get even closer with your help.
Want to know how? Keep reading to learn where we’re at in terms of a cure and 2 ways you can support the search.
Is There a Cure for Alopecia Areata?
AA can occur in a number of different ways and with inconsistent outcomes. In one landmark study, 67% of AA patients achieved a spontaneous complete durable remission within 12 months of developing a patch of hair loss. The remaining 33% developed chronic AA, which is defined as AA that lasts longer than one year.
Chronic AA is believed to affect 2% of the population, or 1 in 1000 people. While some individuals with chronic AA achieve complete remission, many continue to experience hair loss for years.
There’s no known cure for alopecia areata and treatment can be tricky. What works for one might not work for another, and some people don’t respond to treatment at all. AA is a difficult condition to predict, and part of the problem with predicting the course of AA and what treatments will help, is that there’s so little known about it.
2 Ways to Support the Search for a Cure
What we do know about AA is that it’s an auto-immune condition. AA hair loss is the result of the immune system attacking the hair follicle. What we don’t know about AA is what triggers the immune system to do that and how to reverse it.
So how do we figure that out? We keep looking for a cure. But, in order to do so, we need your support. You can help with just two simple actions.
1. Create Awareness
When people with AA and their families and friends make efforts to inform their communities through AA awareness, it makes a big impact.
When people learn that there is no cure, or even a proven treatment, they often want to help. That’s especially true with fundraising efforts, the proceeds of which can be used to support a cure for AA by funding research and advocacy.
Creating awareness has additional effects that go beyond finding a cure. For example, with increased awareness about AA, there is less stigma and misconception around hair loss. In this way, people with AA are less likely to experience prejudice.
Creating awareness about AA can be anything from showing a video about AA to your child’s classroom or participating in Alopecia Awareness week in November or in other initiatives executed throughout the year held by AAAF.. Talk to your friends, families, neighbours, and colleagues to help them understand AA, and you’ll be doing your part to support the search for a cure.
2. Donate to AAAF
Founded in 2010, the goal of the AAAF has always been to improve the lives of people living with AA. We accomplish this by providing support to people with AA and their families, creating public awareness about AA, and funding research into potential treatments and cures.
In the last ten years, we’ve provided financial support to various research efforts looking at possible cures and treatments for AA, including:
- Sponsorship of a two-year investigation into the efficacy of cycosporin A and Tofacitinib as a treatment for AA.
- Grant funding for research into AA treatment with Janus Kinase (JAK) inhibitors.
- Grant funding for research into skin resident memory T cells in AA.
We’ve also participated in numerous trials and started a program for a grant with the Australia Dermatologist College. That program helps fund a yearly research paper on AA.
AAAF doesn’t receive funding from any level of government. We rely on your support to help fund the research that gets scientists closer to finding a cure for AA. That’s how donating to the AAAF helps support the search for a cure for AA.
More Info on AAAF
There isn’t currently a cure for AA, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t hope. We’ve come a long way in terms of what we know about this condition, and with your support, we can continue to fund the research that gets us closer to a cure.
Consider donating to the AAAF today and help support our mission to improve the lives of people living with AA and their families.