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February 2009
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April 2009

Meeting American Hero, Dr. Story Musgrave...

Meeting Story Musgrave in person this past Sunday was certainly inspiring.  We traded some 'war-stories' about taking surgical "Trauma Call" at hospitals in New York City.   Of course, his experiences are truly 'out of this world.'   This short segment gives some insight into the man who has experienced enough for several lifetimes already...

Today, we cannot meet Columbus, Edison, Newton or Socrates, great men of our past. Just the same, we cannot meet or speak with Flash Gordon, Han Solo, Will Robinson or even Captain Kirk. But, you now have a unique opportunity to meet all of these people and more in a real life hero, a rare genius that has changed the world for us all and made all of our lives richer and more rewarding. Dr. Story Musgrave might be known as the astronaut with the most missions, the longest service and the specialist who repaired and saved the Hubble Space Telescope. But, in public speaking, it is his many other identities and accomplishments that come together in concert and he shines as a true performance artist. It’s a special opportunity to meet a technician, master mechanic, electrician, programmer and mathematician. How many of us work a lifetime to achieve competency in one domain? With seven graduate degrees in business, literature, biophysics, medicine and more, he personifies contrast, diversity and integration. He is both a surgeon and a photographer; a jet pilot and a Disney Studios advisor. While he has more hours than any other human flying above the earth in a T-38 jet, his work on the ground provides a profound insight into the infinite beauty of mother earth. He is a landscaper and terraformer solely responsible for developing and producing the rare red palm tree. It may seem like a contradiction to find the scientist and astronaut working as a horticulturist and farmer. How Story integrates these personas is the real story. Do not miss any opportunity to hear how these contrasts are unified as he expands our minds, rallies our ambition, refines our appreciation of life and defines our place on earth and in the universe. (From Dr. Jerry Galloway)

Musgrave,story 

NASA Astronaut, Dr. Story Musgrave and Dr. Alan Bauman at Phi Delta Theta Founder's Day Dinner


For more information on Story Musgrave, visit www.storymusgrave.com


Thank you again, Dr. Musgrave, for an incredibly inspiring evening!  See you 'out there!'


Vertex Male Pattern Baldness and Heart Disease

Recently, a medical reporter for NBC's TODAY SHOW mentioned that there was a statistically-significant correlation between heart disease and male pattern hair loss.   A MEDLINE search revealed this study (see abstract below) from Harvard Medical School suggesting that vertex (crown) baldness appears to be a marker for increased risk of coronary heard disease-related events, especially among men with high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels.  We are currently seeking additional information from the medical community on this topic.

Arch Intern Med. 2000 Jan 24;160(2):165-71.

Male pattern baldness and coronary heart disease: the Physicians' Health Study.

Lotufo PA, Chae CU, Ajani UA, Hennekens CH, Manson JE.

Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Mass 02215-1204, USA.

OBJECTIVE: To examine the association between male pattern baldness and the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) events. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Retrospective cohort study among 22,071 US male physicians aged 40 to 84 years enrolled in the Physicians' Health Study. Of these, 19,112 were free of CHD at baseline and completed a questionnaire at the 11-year follow-up concerning their pattern of hair loss at age 45 years. Response options included no hair loss, frontal baldness only, or frontal baldness with mild, moderate, or severe vertex baldness. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Coronary heart disease events defined as nonfatal myocardial infarction (MI), angina pectoris, and/or coronary revascularization. RESULTS: During 11 years of follow-up, we documented 1446 CHD events in this cohort. Compared with men with no hair loss, those with frontal baldness had an age-adjusted relative risk (RR) of CHD of 1.09 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.94-1.25), while those with mild, moderate, or severe vertex baldness had RRs of 1.23 (95% CI, 1.05-1.43), 1.32 (95% CI, 1.10-1.59), and 1.36 (95% CI, 1.11-1.67), respectively (P for trend, <.001). Multivariate adjustment for age, parental history of MI, height, body mass index (weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters as a continuous variable), smoking, history of hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol level, physical activity, and alcohol intake did not materially alter these associations. Results were similar when nonfatal MI, angina, and coronary revascularization were examined separately, and when events were analyzed among men older and younger than 55 years at baseline. Vertex baldness was more strongly associated with CHD risk among men with hypertension (multivariate RR, 1.79; 95% CI, 1.31-2.44) or high cholesterol levels (multivariate RR, 2.78; 95% CI, 1.09-7.12).

CONCLUSION: Vertex pattern baldness appears to be a marker for increased risk of CHD events, especially among men with hypertension or high cholesterol levels.

If you are experiencing male pattern hair loss (especially in the vertex or crown region), we advise you to be extra vigilant when it comes to monitoring for signs and symptoms of heart disease.  


HairDX Genetic Hair Loss Test Now Predicts Finasteride (Propecia) Response

HairDX Introduces Genetic Test For Finasteride Response

Breakthrough Test Helps Doctors Determine Best Treatment To Save Patients’ Hair

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, MARCH 9, 2009

– Molecular dermatology research and development innovator PharmaGenoma, Inc. and its subsidiary HairDX, LLC (www.hairdx.com), pioneers of genetic tests for predicting the risk of male and female hair loss, today introduced HairDX RxR - a breakthrough genetic test for predicting Finasteride response for the treatment of common hair loss (Androgenetic Alopecia).

The announcement was made at the annual meeting of The American Academy of Dermatology. HairDX RxR, the Finasteride response genetic test, is available now and carries a suggested retail price of $199.

Finasteride is the active ingredient in medications used by doctors to help prevent patient hair loss due to Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA). The threat of a sexual side effect often deters patients from using Finasteride because they are uncertain that there will be enough of a benefit to warrant the risk. Others are discouraged by the slow progress of hair growth combined with the cost of Finasteride, and quit the therapy before they see results.

The HairDX RxR genetic test for Finasteride response will help doctors predetermine if patients will have a subtle, moderate, or great treatment response to Finasteride, allowing the physician to provide patients with the best treatment regimen to save their hair.

Currently one of the most widely prescribed medications, Finasteride, works by blocking the production of the androgen called DHT (dihydrotestosterone), the hormone responsible for hair loss in Androgenetic Alopecia. For many years Finasteride therapy, which blocks the enzyme 5-alpha reductase from converting testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), has become a mainstay to treat AGA. This treatment is an effective means to stabilize hair loss, and in some cases to strengthen and re-grow lost hair.

The Androgen Receptor gene has been identified as a major determinant of Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA), commonly called male pattern baldness. Certain variants of the nucleoside sequence on the Androgen Receptor gene, known as CAG repeats, appear to determine androgen sensitivity in men. The HairDX Genetic Test for Finasteride Response provides doctors with a patient score, called the CAG repeat score.

“A smaller CAG test score is associated with an increased response to Finasteride for treatment of Androgenetic Alopecia,” says a HairDX Chief Medical Officer. “ Scientists discovered that among men that had the best response to Finasteride approximately 70% had a CAG score below 22 while among men that had a subtle response to Finasteride approximately 70% had a CAG score above 22.”

In summary, what will the HairDX (RxR) Genetic Test tell me?

  • The HairDX (RxR) Genetic Test for Finasteride Response provides men with a score, called the CAG repeat score
  • A smaller CAG test score is associated with an increased response to Finasteride for treatment of androgenetic alopecia in men
  • Scientists discovered that among men that had the best response to Finasteride approximately 70% had a CAG score below 22 while among men that had a subtle response to Finasteride approximately 70% had a CAG score above 22

Find out your chances of getting a good result from Finasteride with the HairDX(RxR) test, available now at www.baumanmedical.com in Boca Raton, FL.

 


Spencer Kobren (The Bald Truth) says Neograft is the future of hair transplants

This week on Spencer Kobren's radio show, I had the opporunity to discuss the Neograft device and how it helps make FUE transplants better and more efficient.   This breakthrough device allows the accurate and quick harvesting of FUE grafts without a scalpel and without stitches.   Faster recover, shorter downtime, less discomfort and less activity restrictions after sugery make this an attractive option for many patients.  Limitations of earlier FUE procedures was the numbers of grafts able to be harvested per session.  Neograft dramatically enhances the amount of grafts that can be harvested, compared to manual techniques.

Read more at Spencer Kobren's website:

http://www.thebaldtruth.com/news/future-of-hair-transplants/

A patient of ours, Alex, was able to join us by calling in and described his recent experience as a Bauman Medical Group patient who has underwent both traditional FUE and a procedure with the new Neograft FUE device with Dr. Bauman.

Stay tuned for the link to the audio stream of the show.


No-Scalpel / No-Stitch FUE using NeoGraft is faster, better for patients

Making FUE easier for patients is what Neograft does.  More grafts, better quality grafts and fewer procedures overall now allows more patients to take advantage of the minimally-invasive FUE procedure.  FUE benefits include no linear scar, shorter recovery, no stitches, shorter activity restrictions after the procedure--with no sacrifice in graft quality.  The same artistic feathery hairlines can be created with FUE grafts because the grafts all contain naturally-occurring groupings of one, two or three hairs each. 


View these FUE NeoGraft photos on Flickr

My prediction is that mechanically-assisted FUE will be an important trend in hair transplantation. If it is determined to be helpful, others may try to imitate the original 'NeoGraft' device.

Neograft for FUE hair transplant

At Bauman Medical Group, we have offered FUE or Follicular-Unit Extraction as an alternative to linear harvesting since 2002, with medical presentations and Live Surgery teaching demonstrations given the following year.  FUE as a no-scalpel/no-stitch type of hair transplant has the benefit of no linear scar--allowing transplant patients to wear their hair much shorter, even a buzzcut style.   FUE also tends to heal faster and more comfortably than more invasive hair transplants, with less activity restriction postoperatively.   Being very labor-intensive, the main drawback of FUE is the 'speed' of the procedure which literally harvests one follicle or follicular-unit at a time.  This allows only a small fraction of grafts to be transplanted with each session compared to more traditional, linear harvesting techniques. 

For the patient, this meant more procedures to achieve the same number of hairs transplanted and essentially more cost.   However a new medical device called NeoGraft, now here in the U.S., may change the efficiency of FUE procedures quite dramatically.   Neograft works as an extension of the surgeon's hand simultaneously cutting the skin and extracting the graft in a single motion, instead of a two or three step process.  Grafts are collected in a small suction canister for implantation.  

Stay tuned for more information on our experiences with Neograft.