AFRICAN-AMERICAN HAIR: DERMATOLOGISTS’ TIPS FOR EVERYDAY CARE, PROCESSING AND STYLING

AFRICAN-AMERICAN HAIR: DERMATOLOGISTS’ TIPS FOR EVERYDAY CARE, PROCESSING AND STYLING

From the FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton              Released: 12-Aug-2014
Source Newsroom: American Academy of Dermatology

 

Newswise — SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (August 12, 2014) – Unique in appearance and structure, African-American hair is especially fragile and prone to injury and damage. More than half of African-American women will cite thinning hair or hair loss as their top hair concern. Fortunately, there are a lot of things African-Americans can do to help minimize damage and keep their hair beautiful.

“A lot of what we do to our hair can actually damage hair,” said board-certified dermatologist Yolanda M. Lenzy, MD, FAAD, who maintains a private practice in Chicopee, Massachusetts.

“Over the years, this damage can build up, leading to unhealthy and unattractive hair. To prevent this, it is important to develop healthy hair habits and stick to them.”

To help African-Americans keep their hair healthy, Dr. Lenzy recommends the following tips:

  1. Wash hair once a week or every other week: This will help prevent build-up of hair care products, which can be drying to the hair.
    2. Use conditioner: Use conditioner every time you wash your hair. Be sure to coat the ends of the hair with conditioner, as the ends are the oldest and most fragile part of your hair.
    3. Use a hot oil treatment twice a month: This adds additional moisture and elasticity to your hair.
    4. Use a heat protecting product before styling: Adding this to wet hair before styling will help minimize heat damage.
    5. Use caution with relaxers: To minimize hair damage, always go to a professional hair stylist to ensure that the relaxer is applied safely. Touch-ups should only be done every two to three months and only to newly grown hair. Never apply relaxer to hair that has already been relaxed.
    6. Use ceramic combs or irons to press hair: If you would like to press or thermally straighten your hair, use a ceramic comb or iron and only do so once a week. Use a straightening device with a dial to ensure the device is not too hot. Use the lowest possible temperature setting that gives you the style you want. A higher temperature may be necessary for thicker, coarser hair.
    7. Make sure braids, cornrows or weaves are not too tight: If it hurts while your hair is being styled, ask the stylist to stop and redo it. Pain equals damage.

“See a board-certified dermatologist if you notice any changes in the texture or appearance of your hair,” said Dr. Lenzy. “Even the slightest bit of noticeable thinning can be the start of hair loss. The earlier hair loss is diagnosed, the more effectively it can be treated.”

The “African-American Hair: Everyday Care, Processing and Styling” video is posted to the Academy website and the Academy’s YouTube channel. This video is part of the Dermatology A to Z: Video Series, which offers relatable videos that demonstrate tips people can use to properly care for their skin, hair and nails. A new video in the series posts to the Academy’s website and YouTube channel each month.

Headquartered in Schaumburg, Ill., the American Academy of Dermatology (Academy), founded in 1938, is the largest, most influential, and most representative of all dermatologic associations. With a membership of more than 17,000 physicians worldwide, the Academy is committed to: advancing the diagnosis and medical, surgical and cosmetic treatment of the skin, hair and nails; advocating high standards in clinical practice, education, and research in dermatology; and supporting and enhancing patient care for a lifetime of healthier skin, hair and nails.

 

FDA-APPROVED DRUG RESTORES HAIR IN PATIENTS WITH ALOPECIA AREATA

From the FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton               Embargoed: 17-Aug-2014   Citations Nature Medicine; Source Newsroom: Columbia University Medical Center

 

Newswise — NEW YORK, NY (August 17, 2014) — Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) have identified the immune cells responsible for destroying hair follicles in people with alopecia areata, a common autoimmune disease that causes hair loss, and have tested an FDA-approved drug that eliminated these immune cells and restored hair growth in a small number of patients.

The results appear in today’s online issue of Nature Medicine.

In the paper, the researchers report initial results from an ongoing clinical trial of the drug, which has produced complete hair regrowth in several patients with moderate-to-severe alopecia areata. Data from three participants appear in the current paper; each patient experienced total hair regrowth within five months of the start of treatment.

“We have only begun testing the drug in patients, but if the drug continues to be successful and safe, it will have a dramatic positive impact on the lives of people with this disease,” said Raphael Clynes, MD, PhD, who led the research, along with Angela M. Christiano, PhD, professor in the Departments of Dermatology and of Genetics and Development at CUMC.

Alopecia areata is a common autoimmune disease that causes disfiguring hair loss. The disease can occur at any age and affects men and women equally. Hair is often lost in patches on the scalp, but in some patients it also causes loss of facial and body hair. There are no known treatments that can completely restore hair, and patients with the disease experience significant psychological stress and emotional suffering.

Scientists have known for decades that hair loss in alopecia areata occurs when cells from the immune system surround and attack the base of the hair follicle, causing the hair to fall out and enter a dormant state. Until now, the specific type of cell responsible for the attack had been a mystery. A major clue was uncovered four years ago in Dr. Christiano’s genetic study of more than 1,000 patients with the disease. That study suggested that a “danger signal” in the hair follicles of patients—not previously linked to alopecia areata—attracts the immune cells to the follicle and sparks the attack.

The current paper describes how the team first studied mice with the disease, then tracked backward from the danger signal to identify the specific set of T cells responsible for attacking the hair follicles. Further investigation of mouse and patient cells revealed how the T cells are instructed to attack and identified several key immune pathways that could be targeted by a new class of drugs, known as JAK inhibitors.

Two FDA-approved JAK inhibitors tested separately by the researchers—ruxolitinib and tofacitinib—were able to block these immune pathways and stop the attack on the hair follicles. In mice with extensive hair loss from the disease, both drugs completely restored the animals’ hair within 12 weeks. Each drug’s effect was also long-lasting, as the new hair persisted for several months after stopping treatment.

Together with Julian Mackay-Wiggan, MD, MS, director of the Clinical Research Unit in the Department of Dermatology at CUMC and a practicing dermatologist at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia who treats patients with multiple types of hair loss, the researchers rapidly initiated a small open-label clinical trial of ruxolitinib—which is FDA approved for the treatment of a blood disorder—in patients with moderate-to-severe alopecia areata (with more than 30 percent hair loss).

In three of the trial’s early participants, ruxolitinib completely restored hair growth within four to five months of starting treatment, and the attacking T cells disappeared from the scalp.

“We still need to do more testing to establish that ruxolitinib should be used in alopecia areata, but this is exciting news for patients and their physicians,” Dr. Clynes said.

“This disease has been completely understudied—until now, only two small clinical trials evaluating targeted therapies in alopecia areata have been performed, largely because of the lack of mechanistic insight into it.”

“The timeline of moving from genetic findings to positive results in a clinical trial in only four years is astoundingly fast and speaks to this team’s ability to perform translational science of the highest caliber,” said David Bickers, MD, the Carl Truman Nelson Professor of Dermatology and chair of the Department of Dermatology at CUMC and dermatologist-in-chief at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia.

A practicing dermatologist who cares for many patients with alopecia areata himself, Dr. Bickers said, “There are few tools in the arsenal for the treatment of alopecia areata that have any demonstrated efficacy. This is a major step forward in improving the standard of care for patients suffering from this devastating disease.”

But as Dr. Christiano knows first hand from her own personal experience with the disease, alopecia areata is too often dismissed as simply an appearance-altering disease.

“Nothing could be further from the truth,” she said. “Patients with alopecia areata are suffering profoundly, and these findings mark a significant step forward for them. The team is fully committed to advancing new therapies for patients with a vast unmet need.”

The paper is titled, “Alopecia Areata is Driven by Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes and is Reversed by JAK Inhibition.” The other contributors are Luzhou Xing, Zhenpeng Dai, Ali Jabbari, Jane E. Cerise, Claire Higgins, Weijuan Gong, Annemieke de Jong, Sivan Harel, Gina M. DeStefano, Lisa Rothman, Pallavi Singh, Lynn Petukhova, all at CUMC.

This work was supported in part by USPHS NIH/NIAMS R01AR056016 (to A.M.C.) and R21AR061881 (to A.M.C and R.C.), R01CA164309 and a Shared Instrumentation Grant for the LSR II Flow Cytometer (S10RR027050) to R.C., the Columbia University Skin Disease Research Center (P30AR044535), as well as the Locks of Love Foundation and the Alopecia Areata Initiative. J.E.C. is supported by (T32GM082271) Medical Genetics Training Grant (to A.M.C.). A.J., C.H., S.H., and A.D. are recipients of Career Development Awards from the Dermatology Foundation, and A.J. is also supported by the Louis V.Gerstner, Jr. Scholars Program.

Dr. Clynes worked on this study while an associate professor in the departments of Pathology and Cell Biology, Medicine, and Dermatology at CUMC, and a medical oncologist at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia. Dr. Clynes is now employed by Bristol-Myers Squibb, which was not involved in this research.

Columbia University has filed for intellectual property protection on the treatment of alopecia areata with small-molecule JAK inhibitors (PCT/US2011/059029 and PCT/US2013/034688).

FDA-Approved Drug Restores Hair in Patients with Alopecia Areata. Alopecia areata is a common autoimmune disease that causes disfiguring hair loss

About Columbia University Medical Center
Columbia University Medical Center provides international leadership in basic, preclinical, and clinical research; medical and health sciences education; and patient care. The medical center trains future leaders and includes the dedicated work of many physicians, scientists, public health professionals, dentists, and nurses at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Mailman School of Public Health, the College of Dental Medicine, the School of Nursing, the biomedical departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and allied research centers and institutions. Columbia University Medical Center is home to the largest medical research enterprise in New York City and State and one of the largest faculty medical practices in the Northeast. For more information, visit cumc.columbia.edu or columbiadoctors.org.

 

STUDY: BIGGER WEDDINGS, FEWER PARTNERS, LESS ‘SLIDING’ LINKED TO BETTER MARRIAGES

From FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton Released: 19-Aug-2014
Source Newsroom:
University of Virginia

 

Newswise — The more people who attend your wedding to share in the launch of your marriage, the better the chances you will be happily married years down the road. And, somewhat counter-intuitively, the more relationships you had prior to your marriage, the less likely you are to report a high-quality marriage.

Those are two of the key findings in a new report, “Before ‘I Do’: What Do Premarital Experiences Have To Do With Marital Quality Among Today’s Young Adults?,” from the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia.

The study challenges the idea that “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” – the general notion that what happens in one’s younger years, before marriage, stays there and does not impact the remainder of one’s life.

How people conduct their romantic lives before they tie the knot is linked to their odds of having happy marriages, the study’s authors argue. Past experiences, especially when it comes to love, sex and children, are associated with future marital quality.

Those who have had more romantic experiences – for example, more sexual or cohabiting partners – are less likely to forge a high-quality marriage than those with a less complex romantic history, the researchers found.

Raising children from prior relationships can add stress to a marriage. For women, but not for men, having had a child in a prior relationship was associated, on average, with lower marital quality.

Study co-author Galena K. Rhoades, research associate professor of psychology at the University of Denver, said, “In most areas, more experience is better. You are a better job candidate with more experience, not less.

“When it comes to relationship experience, though, we found that having more experience before getting married was associated with lower marital quality.”

More experience may increase one’s awareness of alternative partners, the researchers speculate. People who have had many relationships prior to their current one can compare a present partner to their prior partners in many areas – like conflict management, dating style, physical attractiveness, sexual skills, communication ability and so on. Marriage involves leaving behind other options, which may be harder to do with a lot of experience, the researchers say.

More relationship experiences prior to marriage also means more experience breaking up, which may make for a more jaundiced view of love and relationships, Rhoades said. It is also possible that some people have personality characteristics – such as liking to take risks or being harder to get along with – that both increase their odds of having many relationship experiences and decrease their odds of marital success, she added.

Rhoades and co-author Scott M. Stanley came to these insights by analyzing new data from the Relationship Development Study, an ongoing national study based at the University of Denver and funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Between 2007 and 2008, more than 1,000 Americans who were unmarried but in a relationship, and between the ages of 18 and 34, were recruited into the study.

Over the course of the next five years and 11 waves of data collection, 418 of those individuals got married. The authors looked closely at those 418 new marriages, examining how the history of the spouses’ relationships and their prior romantic experiences were related to the quality of their marriages. The 418 subjects were reasonably representative of unmarried adults in the United States in terms of race and income. All analyses in the report control for race and ethnicity, years of education, personal income, religiosity and frequency of attendance at religious services.

Past studies show that couples often “slide” into living together rather than talking things out and making a decision about it. In this study, participants who lived together before marriage were asked directly if they made a considered decision about premarital cohabitation or slid into it; they indicated their degree of “sliding versus deciding” on a five-point scale. The more strongly respondents categorized the move as a decision rather than a slide, the greater their marital quality later on.

“We believe that one important obstacle to marital happiness is that many people now slide through major relationship transitions – like having sex, moving in together, getting engaged or having a child – that have potentially life-altering consequences,” said Stanley, research professor and co-director of the Center for Marital and Family Studies at the University of Denver, as well as a senior fellow for both the National Marriage Project and for the Institute for Family Studies.

Often these risks co-occur. For example, those who have multiple cohabiting partners are also more likely to have children before marriage and with more than one partner.

“Another way to think about ‘sliding versus deciding’ is in terms of rituals,” Stanley said. “We tend to ritualize experiences that are important. At times of important transitions, the process of making a decision sets up couples to make stronger commitments with better follow-through as they live them out.”

This finding could also simply reflect that couples who deliberately decided to cohabit are better at talking about important transitions in general, a skill that could help them build a happy marriage, he added.

Having more guests at one’s wedding – the biggest ritual in many relationships – is associated with higher marital quality, even after controlling for income and education, which may be proxies for how much the wedding might have cost, the study found.

Among couples who had weddings, the sample was divided into those who had weddings with 50 or fewer attendees, 51 to 149 attendees, or 150 or more attendees. Among each grouping, 31 percent, 37 percent, and 47 percent, respectively, reported high marital quality.

“In what might be called the ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’ factor, this study finds that couples who have larger wedding parties are more likely to report high-quality marriages,” said W. Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project and a professor of sociology at U.Va. “One possibility here is that couples with larger networks of friends and family may have more help, and encouragement, in navigating the challenges of married life.

“Note, however, this finding is not about spending lots of money on a wedding party. It is about having a good number of friends and family in your corner.”

Stanley added, “Our bottom-line advice to Americans hoping to marry is this: Remember that what you do before you say ‘I do’ may shape your odds of forging a successful marital future.”

See you Wednesday Jeanne

 

 

 

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