Hair Loss and Balding, Can a Virus be the Cause

Hair Loss and Balding Can a Virus be the Cause

Hair Loss and Balding, Can a Virus be the Cause?

Hanan Polansky and Emily H Kestenbaum from the CBCD published a new paper titled: “Male-pattern baldness, common latent viruses, and microcompetition.”

The Center for the Biology of Chronic Disease (CBCD) announces the publication of a new paper [1] in the medical journal: ‘Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology.’  The paper is important since it answers the biggest question in hair loss research today: What causes hair loss and balding in most people?

About half of all men experience hair loss by the age of 50, and the percentage rises to nearly 90% by the age of 80. Many women experience hair loss as well, although it is less common. There are many theories about what causes hair loss in men and women, such as psychological stress, genetics, hormonal imbalances, and certain medical conditions.  The exact cause of balding is still unknown.

Current medical treatments for balding include medications such as Propecia (Finasteride) and Rogaine (Minoxidil), and procedures such as hair transplants.

Propecia is only recommended for men, as it has major side effects in women.  Propecia has been shown to cause birth defects in the babies of pregnant women taking it.  Other treatments for hair loss are LED irradiation, and a drug called Ketoconazole.  Side effects from these drugs and treatments range from mild irritation of the scalp to sexual dysfunction.

Hair loss starts with an increase in the 5α-reductase protein.  This protein increases the levels of the DHT molecule, which binds to the androgen receptor (AR).  This binding causes hair loss.  The reason for the increase in the 5α-reductase protein, the event that starts the process, is unknown.

Pharmaceutical drugs that try to stop the process include Finasteride, or Propecia, and Flutamide.  These drugs stop the process in the middle. They don’t target the cause of hair loss.

The paper by Polansky and Kestenbaum identifies, for the first time, the cause of hair loss in men and women: latent, or hidden viruses.  The paper describes how certain latent viruses cause hair loss and balding [1].  The paper uses the Microcompetition Model introduced by Hanan Polansky to explain how certain latent viruses increase the expression of the 5α-reductase gene in infected individuals [2,3].

According to the paper, certain viral genes compete with cellular genes for genetic resources.  When someone is infected with a virus that carries such a gene, the viral gene increases the production of the 5α-reductase and the androgen receptor in the scalp of the infected individual.  The increase of these proteins leads to hair loss and balding.

The paper concludes by saying that since certain latent viruses are the cause of hair loss, future treatments should target these viruses [1].

Currently, there are no approved drugs that target latent viruses.  The current antiviral drugs only target replicating viruses or viruses that are in an active state.  The CBCD recommends that people who suffer from hair loss and balding try dietary supplements that target latent viruses, or treatments that boost the immune system against latent viruses.


[1] Polansky, H., & Kestenbaum, E. (2018). Male-pattern baldness, common latent viruses, and microcompetition. Journal Of Cosmetic Dermatology. doi: 10.1111/jocd.12710

[2] BookPolansky H. Microcompetition with foreign DNA and the origin of chronic disease. Rochester, NY: CBCD Publishing. 2003.

[3] Polansky H. Javaherian A. 3-Econsystems: MicroRNAs, Receptors, and Latent Viruses; Some Insights Biology Can Gain from Economic Theory. March 2016 Frontiers in Microbiology 7(429), DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2016.00369

Hair Loss and Balding, Can a Virus be the Cause?


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