Nav: Home

New technique may reveal the health of human hair follicles

October 30, 2019

BOSTON - A variety of factors can stop hair from forming and growing properly, leading to hair diseases and baldness. A new method developed by investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) recently examines the activity of hair follicles and could be useful for testing the effects of different treatments on hair growth.

The method, which is described in Scientific Reports, is based on the finding that when the scalp is lightly pressed on a region containing healthy hair follicles, a steady magnetic field--which can be measured with what is called a magnetoencephalogram or MEG--is produced over that region. Through the use of a helmet-shaped MEG that measures the activity of hair follicles over various locations around the scalp, researchers could create maps of electrical activity of individual study subjects.

Such maps were made for 15 healthy control participants (including five females) and two participants with a hair loss condition called alopecia. The maps for participants with alopecia showed no signals of electrical activity at locations that were pressed, whereas the maps for other participants showed electrical activity of varying degrees. The magnetic method was used because surface voltages are too difficult to measure, and the follicle signals can only be observed magnetically.

"What we have here is a quantitative way to see the activity of hair follicles, and as far as we can tell, this is the first time electrical activity has been measured from the follicles themselves," said senior author David Cohen, PhD, an investigator in the Department of Radiology at MGH.

"This method provides a quantitative and objective assessment for the health of hair follicles and can be used as a biomarker for the treatment of hair loss" said lead author Sheraz Khan, PhD, also in investigator in the Department of Radiology at MGH.

Cohen is the inventor of MEG and has been a leader in the field of biomagnetism for more than 50 years. Recently, MGH's Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging named its MEG facility as the David Cohen MEG Laboratory.
-end-
About the Massachusetts General Hospital

Massachusetts General Hospital, founded in 1811, is the original and largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. The MGH Research Institute conducts the largest hospital-based research program in the nation, with an annual research budget of more than $1 billion and comprises more than 8,500 researchers working across more than 30 institutes, centers and departments. In August 2019 the MGH was once again named #2 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report in its list of "America's Best Hospitals."

Massachusetts General Hospital

Related Radiology Articles:

Experts stress radiology preparedness for COVID-19
Today, the journal Radiology published the policies and recommendations of a panel of experts on radiology preparedness during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) public health crisis.
Radiology: Cardiothoracic Imaging publishes special report on vaping
Radiology: Cardiothoracic Imaging has published a special report on lung injury resulting from the use of electronic cigarettes, or 'vaping.' Researchers aim to raise awareness among radiologists and other medical professionals on how to identify e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury.
Radiology organizations publish statement on ethics of AI in Radiology
Experts in the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in radiology, from many of the world's leading radiology, medical physics and imaging informatics groups, today published an aspirational statement to guide the development of AI in radiology.
Rate of radiology resident recognition of non-accidental trauma
Radiology residency programs nationwide are not adequately teaching residents to accurately recognize and report child abuse, according to a study to be presented at the ARRS 2019 Annual Meeting, set for May 5-10 in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Radiology publishes roadmap for AI in medical imaging
In August 2018, a workshop was held at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Md., to explore the future of artificial intelligence (AI) in medical imaging.
CHF 14 million of funding for all-terrain radiology
EPFL spin-off Pristem SA, born within the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne's EssentialTech program, has raised CHF 14 million of new capital in a first round.
Radiology offers clues in cases of domestic abuse and sexual assault
Radiologic signs of injury could help identify victims of intimate partner violence, according to a study presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).
Society of Interventional Radiology Foundation to bestow annual awards
SIR announces recipients of Leaders in Innovation, young investigator, research and philanthropy awards to be presented during SIR's Annual Scientific Meeting in March.
Society of Interventional Radiology bestows highest honors
The Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR) presented its highest honor, the SIR Gold Medal, to Ernest J.
Society of Interventional Radiology Foundation bestows annual awards
Renan Uflacker, M.D., FSIR, was honored posthumously on April 3 with the Society of Interventional Radiology Foundation Leaders in Innovation Award.
More Radiology News and Radiology Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: Meditations on Loneliness
Original broadcast date: April 24, 2020. We're a social species now living in isolation. But loneliness was a problem well before this era of social distancing. This hour, TED speakers explore how we can live and make peace with loneliness. Guests on the show include author and illustrator Jonny Sun, psychologist Susan Pinker, architect Grace Kim, and writer Suleika Jaouad.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#565 The Great Wide Indoors
We're all spending a bit more time indoors this summer than we probably figured. But did you ever stop to think about why the places we live and work as designed the way they are? And how they could be designed better? We're talking with Emily Anthes about her new book "The Great Indoors: The Surprising Science of how Buildings Shape our Behavior, Health and Happiness".
Now Playing: Radiolab

The Third. A TED Talk.
Jad gives a TED talk about his life as a journalist and how Radiolab has evolved over the years. Here's how TED described it:How do you end a story? Host of Radiolab Jad Abumrad tells how his search for an answer led him home to the mountains of Tennessee, where he met an unexpected teacher: Dolly Parton.Jad Nicholas Abumrad is a Lebanese-American radio host, composer and producer. He is the founder of the syndicated public radio program Radiolab, which is broadcast on over 600 radio stations nationwide and is downloaded more than 120 million times a year as a podcast. He also created More Perfect, a podcast that tells the stories behind the Supreme Court's most famous decisions. And most recently, Dolly Parton's America, a nine-episode podcast exploring the life and times of the iconic country music star. Abumrad has received three Peabody Awards and was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2011.