Introduction To Laser Light Hair Therapy for the Management of Alopecia
Introduction To Laser Light Hair Therapy for the Management of Alopecia

Accidental discovery of Hair Growth

Laser Light Therapy, or Photobiomodulation (PBM) was discovered in 1967 by Endre Mester working at the Semelweiss University in Hungary. Mester had obtained an example of the newly invented ruby laser, and commenced a series of experiments designed to answer two questions: (a) can laser irradiation of an experimental tumour transplanted into a mouse or rat produce any cures? (b)does repeated laser irradiation of the skin in a mouse or rat cause skin cancer?

Development of Low Level Laser Therapy

Although the early studies mainly used red light (600–700 nm), it was subsequently found that near-infrared (NIR) light (760–1000+ nm) was equally (if not more) effective. Light in the low 700 nm regions does not appear to be particularly effective. This double peak in the action spectrum reflects the absorption spectrum of cytochrome c oxidase (CCO), unit IV in the mitochondrial respiratory chain. Together with studies showing the effects of light on isolated mitochondria, these observations led to formation of the most widely-held hypothesis that light stimulates respiration in mitochondria, increasing electron transport, oxygen consumption, and ATP synthesis. This stimulation may happen via photodissociation of inhibitory nitric oxide from the heme and copper centres contained within CCO.

The Three Main Types of Alopecia: Causes and treatment

There are three main types of alopecia; androgenetic alopecia (AGA), alopecia areata (AA) and chemotherapy-induced alopecia (CIA).
Androgenetic alopecia

Androgenetic alopecia (AGA) affects the majority of males as they age, and the distinctive pattern of hair loss is often called “male pattern baldness”. The most important predisposing factors are genetic and hormonal, and the balance between two androgen steroids, testosterone and 5α-dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This balance depends on the activity of the enzyme, 5α-reductase in the scalp. Differences in expression of, or polymorphisms in the androgen receptor gene in the HF may also be involved. The precise androgen responsive genes in the HF responsible for androgenetic alopecia have yet to be identified. While androgenetic alopecia in women operates by similar molecular mechanisms, the visible pattern of hair loss on the head is different.

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