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Scientists have accidentally discovered a five-day treatment that reverses baldness in mice, ABC News reports. Does this mean you will never have to tell someone his thinning hair looks “dignified” ever again? Maybe. Dr. Mulugeta Million and his team of scientists (we’ll call them “The Millionaires”) plan on taking this drug treatment into clinical trials. We’re talking humans, the majors, the big leagues.
Like all good discoveries or trips to IHOP, this breakthrough occurred by accident:
Million and colleagues were studying gut function in mice that happened to have alopecia — hair loss — because of an increase in corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), a compound that seems to play a role in how the body responds to stress. When they injected an antagonist — a compound that blocks CRF — once daily for five days, the mice re-grew hair. It was an effect that held up for four months.
“We weren’t prepared to see anything like that,” Million said.
It gets even better. Not satisfied with merely reversing baldness, this CRF blocker was found to help other vain, ultimately pointless ailments:
The treatment not only reversed hair loss, it also prevented it if started ahead of time. It also restored pigmentation in the skin — an effect Million said might prevent graying too.
Dr. Million’s antagonist beat out Rogaine, which only produced “moderate” hair re-growth. This is all very exciting, but until it is approved in clinical trials, bald men will have to watch the women they spent all night talking to at the bar go home with handsome, thick-haired lab mice.