Alopecia areata (Petukhova, 2010)

Circular bald patches are typical for alopecia areata.

STUDY TITLE: Genome-wide association study in alopecia areata implicates both innate and adaptive immunity

SUMMARY: Identification of 16 genomic regions associated with alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss.

OVERVIEW: Alopecia areata occurs when the immune system attacks hair follicles, resulting in hair loss. Alopecia affects over 6.8 million people in the United States. The genetic basis of the disease remains largely unknown. By examining the genomes of 4,332 individuals, this study identified 16 independent genetic variants that are associated with alopecia. Most of these genetic variants are within or near genes that play a role in the immune system. Interestingly, this study implicated ULBP genes, which encode natural killer cell receptor ligands, that have not been previously linked to this or other autoimmune diseases. These natural killer cell receptor ligands act as “danger signals” to the immune system.

DID YOU KNOW? Common treatment options for alopecia areata include steroid injections or topical irritants. However, recently, there has been success in treating patients with Xeljanz, which is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Many patients see hair growth after 2 or 3 months. [SOURCE]

SAMPLE RESULTS: Learn more about the Nebula Research Library.

Alopecia areata sample results

ALOPECIA-ASSOCIATED VARIANTS: rs9275572, rs16898264, rs9479482, rs3130320, rs2009345, rs3763312, rs6910071, rs1024161, rs3118470, rs4147359, rs1701704, rs3096851, rs7682241

Autoimmune diseases
National alopecia areata foundation

WEEKLY UPDATE: March 16, 2020