Q. What is this Genetic Test about?

This test involves DNA analysis, and determines whether the individual has inherited the receptor gene of androgenetic alopecia. The test also indicates your degree of predisposition to developing Alopecia, even if hair loss is not detectable currently.

This is a revolutionary test that can anticipate or predict hair loss from genetic factors much before the start of actual hair loss. However, even if the test indicates no hair loss genes, you can not fully rule out hair loss, because there are many external factors influencing the occurrence and development of alopecia, such as stress, poor nutrition, drug abuse, etc.

Q. What is the objective of the genetic test for hair loss?

The genetic test for hair loss is a screening test for pattern hair loss (Androgenetic Alopecia). The objective of the screening test is to identify hair loss before the onset of visible hair loss, so that treatment can be initiated when medication and nutrition still has a chance of success to prevent baldness.

Q. How does the test work?

This test detects the genetic predisposition of an individual to develop androgenetic alopecia (common baldness) analyzing the androgenic receptor (AR) gene.

To perform the genetic test for detection of alopecia, we need two samples of oral mucosa that is easy to collect. You should not eat or drink, or brush teeth or smoke, one hour prior to taking the oral sample.

Once the samples are mailed to the laboratory, the analysis will be conducted and the results will be available in three weeks.

Q. What is the benefit of taking this genetic test for hair loss?

The genetic test detects the risk of androgenetic alopecia, which is vital information to predict and prevent hair loss.

Studies have shown a high prevalence of pattern hair loss (Androgenetic Alopecia) with increasing age — approximately 65% men and 50% of women will be affected by the age of 60.

The current diagnosis methods rely mostly on visible hair loss pattern, and visible areas of thinning or baldness. However, the signs of androgenetic alopecia are not visible till you have lost approximately 50% of hair in the affected area and by then it may be too late to recover the lost hair because as the hair loss progresses, the chances of hair regeneration decrease gradually.

Our genetic test for hair loss will predict your hair loss much before you can see any visible hair loss. And the sooner you identify your risk profile for hair loss, the better prepared you will be to take necessary steps to prevent hair loss, or plan a treatment to correct hair loss.

So now with this genetic test for alopecia, you can predict and prevent hair loss even before it occurs, which is good because prevention is better than cure!

Q. How does the hair loss genetic test work on men?

In the case of men the test searches the androgen receptor (AR) gene, located on chromosome X, two specific types of variants A and G. Men who have this gene in variant A are considered low risk, since more than 70% of these patients do not suffer from a common baldness, while men who have the variant G are called high-risk by having more than 70% chance of hair loss.

Q. How does the hair loss genetic test work on women?

In the case of women, this test determines the length of one of the alleles of chromosome X (an “allele” is one member of a pair or series of different forms of a gene). Women with a greater length have a lower risk of developing androgenetic alopecia, while those with smaller length have a higher risk because 70% of them develop common baldness.

Q. What kind of medications can be useful after the genetic test?

There are two US FDA approved medication therapies to combat hair loss: minoxidil (suitable for men and women) and finasteride (suitable for men only), which are most effective at stabilizing hair loss rather than hair re-growth. Neither of these two medications can re-populate lost hair follicles, and re-growth is limited to strengthening existing vellus hairs (Vellus hairs are short, fine, light colored, and barely noticed, as compared with terminal hair. Vellus hair is usually less than 2 mm long and the follicles are not connected to sebaceous glands).

Q. Who are the recommended candidates for this test?

The genetic test is recommended for alopecia (hair loss) prediction in both men and women at any age, who they are concerned about hair loss or who have relatives with hair loss. With this genetic test, you can know whether you have inherited the gene for androgenetic alopecia and therefore you plan suitable treatment against hair loss.

However, this test is not conclusive, and it can not rule out hair loss because external factors like stress, drug abuse, lifestyle, etc may also promote hair loss. It is important to note that in case of women, the alopecia may occur due to multiple factors such as hormonal problems, pregnancy, menopause, etc.

Q. Where can I get this test?

In the Dominican Republic, this genetic test can be performed in our clinic. Please contact us to learn more about the test procedure. The test is very easy to conduct because it just requires a small sample of oral mucosa, which contains all necessary genetic information.

Q. Is the test safe and secure?

There are no known risks associated with the use of our Genetic Tests. The tests have been analyzed in United States through CLIA certified laboratories (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments), which ensures compliance with the legislation on data protection.

Q. If my father or my grandfather is bald, why do we need a test?

Genetic alterations that occur in the androgenic receptor (AR) gene may remain hidden, skip generations, or uninterrupted, so the observation of the immediate family is a key element in determining the genetic risk of developing common baldness. Our genetic test can predict your risk and chances for hair loss in a more accurate way.

Q. Who has prepared this Genetic Test?

This test has been developed by Pharma Genomics, a leading genetics company and the test is marketed as HairDX. The management team behind this test includes some of the most prominent genetic researchers worldwide like Dr. Doron Lancet, Head of the Human Genome Center at the Weizman Institute, and Dr Elon Prasse, Director of the Institute of Human Genetics at the Sheba Medical Center in Israel.

To learn more about genetic tests or to schedule a test, please contact us.

Bibliography

1. Ellis, J., et al. Ofthe androgen receptor gene polymorphism is associated with male pattern baldness. J Invest Dermatol Mar; 116 (3): 452455.

2. Levy_Nissenbaum, E., et. al. “Confirmation ofthe association between male pattern baldness and the androgen receptor gene.” European Journal of Dermatology, 2005, Vol 15, No. 5, 33940.

3. Hillman, A. et.aI. “Genetic Variation in the Human Androgen Gene is the Major Determinant of Common Early-Onset Androgenetic Alopecia.” American Journal of Human Genetics, 2005 (77): 140-148.

4. Prodi, D. A., et al. EDA2R Is Associated with Androgenetic Alopecia. Journal of Investigative Dermatology advance online publication, 3 April 2008, doi: 10.1038/jid.20OB.G0.

5. P. Tang H., et al. A community study of male androgenetic alopecia in Bishan, Singapore. Singapore Med J 2000 Vol 41 (5), 202-205.

6. Bergfeld, W. F., et al. Androgenetic alopecia an autosomal dominant disorder. Am J Med 1995 Jan 1G, 98 (1A): 95S-985.

7. Desmond, C. C., et al. Prevalence of Male and Female Pattern Hair Loss in Maryborough. Journal of Investigative Dermatology Symposium Proceedings (2005) 10, 184-189, doi: 10.111M.1087-0024.2005.10102.x.

8. Demuro-Mercon, C., et al. Male-Pattern Hair Loss in Norwegian Men: A Community-Based Study. Dermatology 2000, 200:219-222 (DOI: 10.1159/000018386).

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