View Full Version : OT: Allopecia genes discovered

06-30-2010, 10:01 PM
In keeping with the rampant off topic threads in this section, I present... (emphasis added)


Dr. Angela Christiano, professor of dermatology and genetics and development at Columbia University Medical Center, was lead author of the study. She noted her team's discovery is important because it was originally thought that AA was more related to inflammatory diseases, such as psoriasis, where a particular cell attacks the skin. But during their research, Christiano and her investigators learned that AA is actually more genetically related to celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis and type 1 diabetes and since there are many drugs under development and some on the market already for the same gene targets, new treatments for AA should be relatively close by.

Alopecia... genetic... ~1.8% of the population.

06-30-2010, 11:02 PM
Wiki: Alopecia areata (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alopecia_areata)

The condition affects 0.1%–0.2% of humans, occurring in both males and females.

1 in 500 to 1000 young people sounds too common to be a genetic disorder. Let's see what scientists think.


Strong evidence that genes may increase risk for alopecia areata was found by studying families with two or more affected members.

Genes are involved on some level.

But wait, there's more...

An unknown environmental trigger such as emotional stress or a pathogen is thought to combine with hereditary factors to cause the condition

Alopecia reminds me of virtually every common disease that I've ever read about including the flu. (Scientists pinpoint flu gene (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/3538487/Scientists-pinpoint-flu-gene.html))
Genetic susceptability + environmental damage = illness.

BTW one of the pathogens that might be involved is Epstein-Barr virus.
Onset of alopecia areata after Epstein-Barr virus infectious mononucleosis. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18329131)

Lucky for us several vaccines are in clinical trials. Here is a link to one.
Phase I/II studies to evaluate safety and immunogenicity of a recombinant gp350 Epstein–Barr virus vaccine in healthy adults (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6TD4-4NHMC6S-2&_user=10&_coverDate=06%2F11%2F2007&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=34b32d3649e18693a185b1a11f83f369)

07-01-2010, 05:32 AM
When a scientist is presented with evidence (over and over again) counter to their hypothesis, they accept it and move on. Intellectual integrity and honesty is the heart of science which is designed to keep folks from lying to themselves.

Clinging to a hypothesis AS AGAINST evidence is counterproductive and will not get you to correctness in fact or thinking.

You need to sort out, identify, and discard the emotional reasons why you favor certain ideas and try to stick with straight evidence (or lack of it) in negotiating a complex scientific problem (or any problem). At present, you seem to be functioning almost completely at an emotional level which prevents any scientific thinking.

Most of all you need to realize the limitations of the literature. This one thing would advance your ability to approach this subject immensely.

It is okay to be wigged out at a JIS diagnosis. It's okay to admit you have no relevant training to be discussing most of what you present.

It's not okay to stubbornly cling to disproven ideas. It's not okay to bang on and on in a way that won't help you or anyone.

07-01-2010, 08:30 AM
Back to my ignore list! :)

07-01-2010, 09:02 AM
Back to my ignore list! :)

That's probably best. Unequally yoked and all that. You want to believe as against evidence. That works for you.

07-01-2010, 08:34 PM
The Alopecia example highlights how easy it is for anyone to get a general idea of why an illness occurs.

The next time you read about an illness go to Google and do some simple research.

Step 1: Find out how many people the disease strikes
If the disease is widespread and the prevalence is greater than around 1 in 10,000 children or young people it's almost never a genetic disorder. There are a few exceptions, but not many.

Step 2: Read a few paragraphs about the disease
Although heredity may play a role in susceptabilty in most cases it won't be long until you read that scientists suspect environmental damage also plays a part. Heredity + environmental damage = illness. 99% of diseases follow this template.

Step 3: There is no step 3

It's that simple. Enjoy! :)