By the time an individual detects their hair loss, they possibly have lost 50% of the original hair in that particular scalp region. The HairDX genetic test is a screening test that predicts hair loss prior to any visible loss. Why is this test so important? The earlier we can start a medical treatment such as Propecia or Rogaine, the better the chances of stopping future hair loss. The test is non-invasive and easy to perform. A cotton swab is rubbed against the inside of the cheek and then sent to a special laboratory for analysis.
In males, the HairDX tests for Male Pattern Hair Loss by reporting the presence or absence of a specific variation in the androgen receptor (AR) gene found on the X chromosome. The variant AR gene causes changes in the hair follicle’s response to Dihydrotestosterone, resulting in alterations in the hair growth cycle.
A positive test result indicates a 70% chance of developing Male Pattern Hair Loss (MPHL), whereas a negative test result indicates a 70% chance of not developing MPHL.
Recently, HairDX developed a test designed to evaluate an individual’s reaction to Finasteride (Propecia) therapy. The HairDX (RxR) Genetic Test for Finasteride Response helps in determining if the patient will have a slight, moderate, or great response to Propecia.
The test provides men with a score called the CAG repeat score. A smaller CAG score is associated with an increased response to Propecia for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia in men. Researchers discovered that for men who had the best response to Propecia, approximately 70% had a CAG score below 22, while for those who had a subtle response, approximately 70% had a CAG score above 22.
In females, the HairDx tests for Female Pattern Hair Loss by providing women with a score called the CAG repeat score. A smaller CAG score is associated with a higher risk for significant hair loss (such as a Ludwig II or III), whereas a larger test score is associated with a lower risk for hair loss. According to scientists, the percentage of the female population with a CAG test score of 15, not resembling a Ludwig II or III, was only 2.3%.
It is important to emphasize that the HairDx Genetic Test is a screening test that physicians utilize in helping to diagnose a patient with hair loss. Since there are no blood tests available to diagnose androgenetic alopecia, the physician must rely on a good, detailed medical history, family history for hair loss, and the HairDX test. When added to the other information the patient provides, the HairDX test is invaluable in a young patient (18 years old or older) or an individual who has not begun to display any signs or symptoms of hair loss.
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