Bernstein Medical - Center for Hair Restoration - Latisse for Hair Loss Study
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Departures - The State of Plastic Surgery 2012The January/February issue of Departures Magazine contains a feature called “The State of Plastic Surgery 2012”. The magazine covers topics such as how to find the best plastic surgeon, the use of cells in plastic surgery and the best hair loss therapies. The section on hair loss offers a timeline of the major advances in the treatment of hair loss since its inception over 75 years ago.

Here is the list of the milestones presented in the article:

1939: Japanese doctor Shoji Okuda is the first to publish the results of clinical hair-transplant experiments.
1952: Dermatologist Norman Orentreich, M.D., uses four-millimeter punches to perform the first hair transplants, popularizing “hair plugs” to treat male-pattern baldness. Each plug of some 20 hairs is taken from a “donor site” on the scalp (usually toward the back, where there’s adequate growth). They are bulky and, more often than not, the results look like a poorly hoed garden.
1984: Mini-grafting — the use of grafts containing up to six hairs — is introduced.
Late ’80s: Mini-micrografting, the combination of mini-grafts and smaller micro-grafts containing one or two hairs, becomes popular as a more natural alternative.
1995: New York dermatologist Robert M. Bernstein, M.D., and New Hair Institute founder William Rassman, M.D., develop Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT), which uses a special microscope to identify individual units of one to four hairs, plus nerves, blood vessels and a tiny muscle called the erector pilorum (the same muscle that makes a cat’s hairs stand on end). Transplanting these intact units ensures their maximum survival and a much more natural look.
2002: Dr. Bernstein and Dr. Rassman offer even more refinement with Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). With FUT, the donor hair is harvested in a single strip, leaving a linear incision; with FUE, the hair is harvested with a tiny punch that leaves lots of tiny circular incisions-a noticeable advantage for patients who want to wear their hair short. The disadvantage is that FUE requires a much larger donor site, and the results may not all be permanent.
2007: The FDA clears low-level lasers, which promise that the absorbed light will stimulate cell metabolism and protein synthesis to regrow hair.
2008: Latisse, a prescription treatment to grow thicker and longer eyelashes, is cleared by the FDA. Now Allergan, the company behind Latisse, is doing a clinical study about a new formulation of bimatoprost (the active ingredient in Latisse) for male-pattern baldness and moderate female-pattern hair loss. The world waits with bated breath.

Read more about the history, milestones, and innovations in the modern hair transplant techniques that Dr. Bernstein pioneered

Reference
“Personal Best: The State of Plastic Surgery” Departures Magazine, Jan/Feb 2012

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Journal of the American Academy of DermatologyA double-blind scientific study published in the May 2012 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology has found that latanoprost, a drug that mimics naturally-derived compound molecules called prostaglandins, significantly increases hair density on the scalp after 24 weeks of treatment in young men with mild hair loss.

Latanoprost, like the eyelash restoration drug bimatoprost (better-known by its brand name Latisse), has been used to treat glaucoma. And like bimatoprost, latanoprost has been used to treat eyelash alopecia. The scientists who conducted the study sought to determine if latanoprost could stimulate hair growth when applied topically on the scalp.

While the sample size of the study was small (only 16 subjects), the researchers found that 50% of the subjects had statistically significant differences in hair density associated with increased hair pigmentation and thickness. Overall, at 24 weeks into the study, hair density had increased 22% in the entire study population. Another interesting finding is that the proportion of hairs in the anagen phase versus the telogen phase — referred to as the anagen/telogen ratio — remained stable. The authors of the study describe the significance of this finding:

“The stabile anagen/telogen ratio might indicate that latanoprost does not modify the length of anagen and telogen phases of individual hair follicles. However, as the absolute number of both anagen and telogen hair increased, it seems latanoprost recruits new hairs into the growth phase.”

In conclusion, the authors suggest that the study shows the possibilities of using prostaglandin analogues, like latanoprost, to treat androgenetic alopecia, or common hair loss on the scalp. More research is needed on latanoprost, or other prostaglandin analogues, to determine the ideal dosage and duration of treatment for hair loss.

Latisse, the brand owned by American pharmaceutical company Allergan, is currently being studied as a topical hair loss medication. The study will conclude in September 2012.

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Journal of the American Academy of DermatologyLatisse, which is the brand name for the drug bimatoprost, has been found to effectively and safely grow eyelashes in a double-blinded scientific study published in the May 2012 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

The study found that the drug starts showing improved eyelash growth at week 4 of using the medication. The growth is notable by week 8 and even more substantial by week 12. The majority of subjects using bimatoprost, 78.1% of the group, found improvements in eyelash prominence, length, fullness, and darkness by week 16. Only 18.4% of subjects using the placebo found such improvements at 16 weeks.

In the safety component of the study, adverse events were tallied and subjects were given ophthalmic examinations. Bimatoprost was found to have a “very good” safety profile. The only adverse event that occurred in a statistically significant greater proportion among those who used bimatoprost was conjunctival hyperemia, also known as “red eye”. This adverse event happened in only 3.6% of subjects — five out of 137 — and none of the subjects discontinued participation in the study. Ophthalmic examination of subjects during the study revealed that there is no statistically significant change in iris pigmentation due to bimatoprost. There was also no statistically significant change in visual acuity.

Bimatoprost, which mimics a type of “messenger molecule” called a prostaglandin, was initially designed to treat glaucoma. It was known for several years that the drug’s side effect was eyelash growth, and it was approved by the Food & Drug Administration in 2008 under the brand name of Latisse. The physiological mechanism by which bimatoprost affects eyelash growth is unknown and requires further scientific study.

Latisse — which is owned by the California-based pharmaceutical company Allergan, Inc. — is also being studied as a treatment for hair loss. That study is underway, and is on-going as of the most recent update in January 2012. The study should be complete by September 2012.

Read about Latisse/Bimatoprost

Read more about Latisse/Bimatoprost on the Hair Transplant Blog

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Q: I saw your post on the clinical trials of Latisse (bimatoprost) for hair loss on the scalp. What is the status of the study? — B.V., New Providence, NJ

A: Allergan, the company that makes Latisse, conducted safety and efficacy testing of three formulations of the drug for men with androgenetic alopecia (male pattern baldness). Latisse is a drug that is approved by the FDA to help eyelash growth at a concentration of 0.03 %. The drug is applied daily to the upper eyelid.

Allergan studied the results of three formulations of Latisse (Bimatoprost .03% Opthalmic Solution) comparing them to results of a control option and also an over-the-counter minoxidil 5% solution. The drugs were applied directly to the scalp, and the progression of hair loss was measured.

This study began in June 2011 and the results were published in April 2014. The results of the study did not indicate that Latisse would be a viable alternative to use on the scalp to prevent hair loss.

It should also be noted that the cost of bimatoprost, the active ingredient in Latisse is significantly more expensive than minoxidil, the active ingredient in Rogaine. This means that even if the two treatments were equally effective, it would be cost-prohibitive to treat baldness with Latisse.

Latisee (Bimatoprost .03% Opthalmic Solution) has not been FDA approved for the treatment of scalp hair loss.

For more information, view the results and details of the study on ClinicalTrials.gov .

Read more about Latisse/Bimatoprost.

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Latisse, the brand name for the drug bimatoprost, is commonly used to promote eyelash growth in women who want their eyelashes to be longer, thicker, and darker, typically for cosmetic reasons. It is also used to promote growth of eyebrow hair.

In a publication on ClinicalTrials.gov titled, “Safety and Pharmacokinetics Study of New Formulation of Bimatoprost in Patients With Alopecia,” Allergan, the pharmaceutical company that produces Latisse, has announced a new study on the safety and efficacy of a new formulation of bimatoprost for use as a topical hair loss treatment for general baldness.

The study, based out of Tempe, Arizona, will test two different formulations of bimatoprost in men who suffer from moderate male pattern baldness and women who have moderate female patterned alopecia.

According to the details of the study, the test involves, “One mL dose applied evenly onto pre-specified balding area on scalp – single dose in the am followed by multiple doses daily in the am for 14 days.” The goal of the testing is to measure the results of a single dose of bimatoprost, as well as multiple doses over time. The completion date of the study is February 2011, so we will look for the results and share them with you when they are available.

Update:

The results of the study have been published and it did not result in the FDA approving Latisse for hair loss on the scalp. Latisse was found to be not nearly as effective in treating hair loss as the control group that used minoxidil 5% solution. See the results of the study on ClinicalTrials.gov.

Visit our page on Latisse/Bimatoprost for more information on the drug and its off-label use. View the publication on ClinicalTrials.gov for more specifics on the study. Read about other medical hair loss treatments on our page on medications.

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