For generations, numerous remedies have been invented to hide gray hair,» said Gerald Weissmann, MD, editor-in-chief of the Journal of the Federation of American Societies of Experimental Biology (FASEB Journal), «but now, for the first time Once, a real treatment that reaches the root of the problem has developed .
His satisfaction with the publication, on May 3 last, in that scientific journal, of the results of an investigation that managed to reverse the bleaching of hair without any staining. This, thanks to a topical treatment with an enzyme called PK-MUS (modified pseudocatalase) that is activated with UVB (ultraviolet) rays.
The breakthrough is the result of the continuation of a 2009 work, which discovered why and how the hair turns white.
At that time, a team of scientists from the Department of BioCiencias of the University of Bradford, in the United Kingdom, elucidated what until that moment was a mystery.
It happens that the hair whiteens due to the action of hydrogen peroxide (hydrogen peroxide) produced by the body itself, due to the scarcity of an enzyme called catalase. This usually dissolves that oxygenated water, but in its absence the product accumulates and clarifies it.
In addition, hair follicles can not repair the damage caused by this process by the parallel decrease – due to cellular aging – of the level of two other enzymes that normally do (the so-called MSR A and B).
The sum of all the above aggravates the process by causing the body no longer produce a fourth enzyme that drives the production of what gives hair color, melanin.
Now, a work carried out by some of the researchers of the first team in the aforementioned university, and that was focused on vitiligo (a skin disease in which the cells responsible for pigmentation of the skin die and no more is produced.
Melanin that gives the color), showed the effectiveness of the creation of a treatment that manages to reverse the accumulation of hydrogen peroxide / hydrogen peroxide, so that its effects are also reversed.
Precisely, «what excites us even more, is that this also works for vitiligo». And he recalled that «this condition, although technically cosmetic, can have serious socio-emotional effects of people», so that the development of an effective treatment for this disease «has the potential to radically improve the lives of many people».
Weissman remarked, to conclude, that this case shows how basic research, that is, that which has no immediate practical purpose but to discover how it works, in this case, a biological mechanism, results in unexpected applications that impact the life of millions of people.