Alopecia UK funds invested: £1,500

When:  October 2020-July 2022

Project type:  Clinical Research

Project Lead:  Dr Tuntas Rayinda

Length of project: 18 months

Research Institute:  King’s College London

Condition of interest:  Male frontal fibrosing alopecia

Funds being used for:  Consumables

Research question:

Is there a genetic basis for male frontal fibrosing alopecia?

Justification for research project:

Frontal fibrosing alopecia is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that leads to permanent hair loss. The condition causes body, facial, eyebrow, and scalp hair loss associated with inflammation and scarring. Frontal fibrosing alopecia is more common in women than in men. A recent study by their group, available here, revealed that there is a strong genetic basis for female frontal fibrosing alopecia, however, the genetic basis of male frontal fibrosing alopecia has not been investigated to date.

The aim of this study is to explore what genes contribute to the development of frontal fibrosing alopecia. The group have managed to recruit the largest cohort of male cases in the UK by collaborating with many other UK sites, in addition to European centres. This project will provide insight into the pathogenesis of male frontal fibrosing alopecia and hopefully enable more research into appropriate and effective treatments.

Who is leading the project:

Dr Tuntas Rayinda is a dermatologist undertaking his clinical PhD research at Kings College London. Dr Rayinda is part of a group which recently published a large-scale genetic study, which identified that the condition in female patients is underpinned by a strong genetic basis.

Progress (November 2021):

Tuntas and his colleagues have published a report in the British Journal of Dermatology of his initial investigation of the clinical records of 17 men with FFA who attended clinics at St John’s Institute of Dermatology between Jan 2014-May 2021. Details of the report can be found here. This highlighted that the men tended to be younger (median age 44) than women with FFA (median age 66) and were more likely to have facial hair loss and sex hormone abnormalities than women with FFA, based on available data. The report calls for further studies to elucidate more the role of autoimmunity and sex hormone metabolism in male FFA.