Skip to comments.WOLF BOY'S HOPE (Columbia U. Dr. may have discovered cure to 'Werewolf Syndrome')
Posted on 11/20/2008 2:37:20 AM PST by Stoat
Pruthviraj Patil, 11, suffers from a rare genetic disorder known as hypertrichosis - or "werewolf syndrome" - which causes a thick coat of hair to grow over every inch of his body except his palms and feet.
When he was born in a village near Mumbai, his mother was told she had given birth to a god, but in school, there have been more bullies than believers.
Ironically, the breakthrough stems from Christiano's research into baldness. A dermatologist and geneticist, she's a pioneer in the field who actually discovered a gene associated with hair loss.
The disease is believed to be genetic and not caused by a hormonal imbalance. From birth, all humans have some amount of body hair, but this rare mutation causes it to grow out of control.
"There is no known genetic cause. Usually, the parents are normal, so it's quite a surprise when a child is born with this syndrome," Christiano said.
Pruthviraj has just started the promising treatment, and it's too early to tell its long-term effects, but the doctors are hopeful it will do the trick.
Disorders involving excessive hair growth may have supplied carnival sideshows worldwide, but experts say "werewolf syndrome" is almost never seen.
The majority of the known cases are centered in South Asia, experts said.
(Excerpt) Read more at nypost.com ...
HAIR TODAY: Pruthviraj Patil, 11, of India is one of only dozens of people in the world born with full body hair, a condition that a Columbia scientist thinks she can now cure.
Dr Angela Christiano is the associate professor of molecular dermatology and genetics & development at Columbia University.
Her laboratory's work is focused on the genetics and biology of hair loss, which began as a result of her own experience with alopecia areata. The compelling story of her personal history, together with her landmark discoveries of the first two genes involved in inherited hair loss, have made her a valuable spokeswoman for the issue of hair loss. She was recently featured in a story on female hair loss on Good Morning America, and has written the foreword for the recently published book The Truth About Women's Hair Loss, by Spencer David Kobren. Dr. Christiano has published more than 145 peer-reviewed publications and more than 40 reviews in the area of inherited skin disorders, and she serves as the Editor of Experimental Dermatology.
The overall theme of the research in Dr. Christiano's laboratory at Columbia is to develop rationally designed genetic therapies for cutaneous diseases through understanding the underlying pathogenetic mechanisms. The emphasis is on prevention of genetic disease through early diagnosis, and treatment when prevention is not possible. Her research efforts are supported in part by the NIH-National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, the National Alopecia Areata Foundation.
I hope the “cure” doesn’t involve silver bullets...
Apparently not. From the article:
Christiano and her colleagues at Columbia are using injections of testosterone to stem the growth of hair.
I’ll bet she’s Filipina. Filipina women are not only brilliant, hard-working, and usually Christian, they’re usually quite beautiful.
Is this kid's condition the source of discomfort?
His hands do not appear to have excess hair.
He’s just got to stay away from Trader Vic’s.
Even if his hair is perfect?
It would be.. awkward.
Off how the extra hair growth looks gray instead of matching the hair on his head. Looks like an otherwise handsome kid.
The majority of the known cases are centered in South Asia, experts said.:')
Forensics’ next tool: Hair-collecting caterpillars
ScienceNews | Tuesday, November 18th, 2008 | Susan Milius
Posted on 11/19/2008 11:48:21 PM PST by nickcarraway
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