27 August, 2014

The art of living with alopecia - treatment decisions

Image: flyingcatsandglitter on deviantarts
Here’s a succinct message from Dr Victor Herbert (talking about choosing alternative therapies but just as applicable to AA treatments)

"Every therapy has side effects and the potential for harm. Before trying any new remedy, get the answers to three questions
1. Is this treatment more effective than doing nothing?
2. Is it as safe as doing nothing?
If there are questions about safety,
3. Does the potential benefit exceed the potential harm?"

26 August, 2014

Ruxolitinib - Still looking like a treatment not a cure

Some extra info from a US radio interview with Raphael Clynes (co-investigator) on August 24th ".....We then treated a few patients - now nine patients with Alopecia Areata with a drug called a JAK inhibitor. And the results are remarkable. Six of the nine first patients treated have had excellent responses".

My question - How successful a treatment is it in the long term? Will those 6 out of nine people have relapses without continuing treatment? And...this looks like progress but we still have the side effects to consider.

25 August, 2014

Another contribution to the alopeciology "art of understanding alopecia"

This video from Columbia University has Angela Christiano explaining the research that led up to the ruxolitinb anouncement. A good non technical account ..... with diagrams
Drs Christiano and Clynes at work

A nice summary of relevance of the new drug for AA

Dr Jeff Donovan, dermatologist, advises the Canadian Alopecia Areata Foundation. Read his summary of the information about ruxolitinib

20 August, 2014

Ruxolitinib story in the USA - Criticisms of media coverage

Gary Schwitzer blogs on evaluating the quality of evidence and health journalism. He is a critic of reporting of the trial of ruxolitinib and raises some good questions about the NYT article we linked to yesterday
Here’s some of what he said and the questions he asks
“........ the Times was too vague about the numbers.  It explained that the drug ruxolitinib had been tested on seven women and five men.  But then it vaguely reported:
    “The results for Brian and several other participants have been significant.”   (Our questions: How many is several?  What does significant mean? Only the one patient’s – Brian’s – experience is detailed.)
It helpfully explained that “so far a few participants did not regrow hair.”  (Our question:  How many of the 12?)
It helpfully reported a quote from one of the researchers:  “It appears to work — not in everyone, but in the majority,” she said. “We need a lot more data on the long-term risks in healthy individuals.”
Read more

18 August, 2014

Another new drug trial announcement today

One of the arts of living with alopecia is trying to sort out what new drug announcements really mean. Here's the latest one from the US - ruxolitinib. In the New York Times, US dermatologists themselves have conflicting views http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/18/health/alopecia-patients-in-study-grow-hair-with-new-drug.html?_r=0

16 August, 2014

The International Dermatology Patient Organization Conference June 2015 in Vancouver

Link to conference website idpoc.com
Great news!! This conference to be held next year in conjunction with the World Congress of Dermatology (WCD)in Vancouver. The Canadian Skin Patient Alliance (CSPA) represents many diagnosis groups, alopecia, psoriasis, vitiligo and more and their theme will be about promoting leadership in support groups. This is a first for the WCD conferences! A voice for patient organisations in the conference program.  Here's what the CSPA are saying

"Skin patient organizations serve a unique role with their focus on the medical, psycho-social, and health needs of the individual with a skin, hair or nail disease and with their community-based structure. These organizations’ activities include, but are not limited to: educational programs, rehabilitative and financial support programs for patients or their families; advocacy to the government and fund-raising for research. ......... By inviting the world’s patient organization leaders to the World Congress of Dermatology (WCD) 2015 to participate in a multi-day conference dedicated to leaders of dermatology patient support organizations, the WCD and the global dermatology community confirm the importance of the role played by these patient groups in promoting dermatology issues".

Yay!!!! More to come on this as the event gets closer

13 August, 2014

What is Alopeciology?

Introducing alopeciology! What is it?
Our companion magazine 'the alopeciologist' has an explanation.
The May edition can be downloaded as a pdf
or viewed as the page turning version

10 August, 2014

Coming soon to a (small) screen near you!

Alopeciology is taking shape gradually with a web page to come. Our graphics by Black Belt Design