A consortium of 28 clinics in 15 countries are planning a
large scale study to define general alopecia areata susceptibility
and resistance genes in families of alopecia areata affected
Alopecia areata probably involves a complex interaction between
several susceptibility and resistance genes plus alopecia
areata activating and inhibiting environmental factors. Several
research studies are underway in the USA and Europe to examine
both genetic and environmental modification of alopecia areata
involving human volunteers and laboratory models.
This genetic study will involve a comprehensive, genome-wide
screen of DNA isolated from blood samples provided by donors.
Statistical analysis of the results will provide information
on areas of the human genome where genes involved in AA are
located. With this information, and using data from the recently
completed human genome mapping project, candidate genes can
later be defined and examined in detail to evaluate how they
may be involved in alopecia areata.
This study needs the participation of at least 1120 volunteers
in 280 family groups to ensure reliable results. We need to
obtain blood samples from at least 4 people in a family (Mother
and Father and 2 children).
Specific volunteer requirements:
- You must have (or have had) alopecia areata and be willing
to provide a blood sample.
- You must have a genetically related brother or sister
who has (or has had) alopecia areata and is willing to provide
a blood sample.
- You and your brother or sister must not be monozygotic
twins (identical twins).
- It is not necessary for your genetically related mother
and father to have alopecia areata, but they must be willing
to each provide a blood sample.
- Individuals with trisomy 21 (Down's syndrome) are not
able to take part in the study as the additional chromosome
21 DNA would bias the statistical analysis.
- You should be resident in Europe, Scandinavia, Taiwan,
Australia, or Singapore. We are currently investigating
methods to include individuals from other geographic regions,
but at this time we have no system to collect blood or data
from volunteers located outside Europe, Scandinavia, Taiwan,
Australia, and Singapore. If you are resident in the USA
If you and your family fit the criteria above and you are
all willing to take part in the study, please provide your
name and your email or postal address where we can contact
you to the study coordinators via the European Hair Research
Society web site at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All emails will be passed directly and confidentially to the
study coordinators. Your information and email address will
not be passed to any third party. Once we have enough volunteer
families, we will contact individuals with details on how
and where to submit blood samples. If you have further questions
please contact the coordinators at; email@example.com
The study is coordinated by Dr Rolf Hoffmann and Freiburg
University Department of Dermatology, Freiburg, Germany.
be conducted by the Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular
Medicine (MDC) in Berlin, Germany. Research funds are provided
by the German Medical Research Council (DFG).