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

Teaching For Better Humans 2.0
More than test scores or good grades–what do kids need for the future? This hour, TED speakers explore how to help children grow into better humans, both during and after this time of crisis. Guests include educators Richard Culatta and Liz Kleinrock, psychologist Thomas Curran, and writer Jacqueline Woodson.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#556 The Power of Friendship
It's 2020 and times are tough. Maybe some of us are learning about social distancing the hard way. Maybe we just are all a little anxious. No matter what, we could probably use a friend. But what is a friend, exactly? And why do we need them so much? This week host Bethany Brookshire speaks with Lydia Denworth, author of the new book "Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life's Fundamental Bond". This episode is hosted by Bethany Brookshire, science writer from Science News.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Space
One of the most consistent questions we get at the show is from parents who want to know which episodes are kid-friendly and which aren't. So today, we're releasing a separate feed, Radiolab for Kids. To kick it off, we're rerunning an all-time favorite episode: Space. In the 60's, space exploration was an American obsession. This hour, we chart the path from romance to increasing cynicism. We begin with Ann Druyan, widow of Carl Sagan, with a story about the Voyager expedition, true love, and a golden record that travels through space. And astrophysicist Neil de Grasse Tyson explains the Coepernican Principle, and just how insignificant we are. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.