We fund groundbreaking research into Alopecia Areata treatments and support.
AAAF is dedicated to supporting research into Alopecia Areata. We have provided a range of grants and supported studies into both the medical and psychological impact of this condition.
Partnering with AAAF for Research
AAAF is looking for research projects commencing in 2021. If you are a researcher involved in a project relating to Alopecia Areata, please submit an Expression of Interest to AAAF by 30/09/2020.
Prof. Rodney Sinclair, Professor of Dermatology at the University of Melbourne and Director of Sinclair Dermatology
Jason Wong, academic and researcher at RMIT University
Current Trials and Research
Clinical trials for new Alopecia Areata treatment options are currently running in Australia. AAAF will share updates as they become available. Be sure to register to sign up for newsletter updates.
SECURE-Alopecia – Database for confirmed COVID-19 cases with a form of Alopecia.
A global network of alopecia specialists has coordinated to create a patient registry, called SECURE-Alopecia. This database seeks to collect information about whether some common treatments for alopecia improve outcomes for people who contract COVID-19.
The registry is anonymous and does not collect identifiable information. This data will help support researchers and doctors fighting COVID-19. AAAF are proud to be one of the many organisations partnering to support this important piece of research. https://www.secure-derm.com/alopecia-partner-organisations
If you have alopecia and experienced a confirmed case of COVID-19, please reach out to your doctor to participate after your COVID-19 has passed. It only takes your doctor five minutes to register and complete the form.
Current clinical trial seeking participants
New clinical trial in Melbourne, Victoria seeking participants aged 18-65 with a form of Alopecia Areata with hair loss over 50% or more of the scalp. Participants must have experienced hair loss for at least 6 months but not longer than 8 years. Study will involve 8 visits over 32 weeks. Participants will be provided care throughout the study period at no cost, and study related expenses like travel may eligible for reimbursement.
Current study seeking adult participants for clinical trial in South Australia who have had hair loss to Alopecia Areata for more than 6 months.
- Please click here for more details.
- To register your interest in this study, or any other questions, please contact Christine Musolino at Christine@ctsa.com.au or Kimberly Hook Kimberly@ctsa.com.au.
Utility of azathioprine methotrexate and cyclosporine as steroid sparing agents in chronic alopecia areata: A retrospective study of continuation rates in 138 patients
This study explores some of the systemic therapy options for treating chronic Alopecia Areata.
Road Map for diagnosis -Treatment of alopecia areata: An Australian expert consensus statement
The purpose of this consensus statement is to outline a treatment algorithm for AA, including the indications for systemic treatment, appropriate choice of systemic treatment, satisfactory outcome measures and when to discontinue successful or unsuccessful treatment.
- Click here to view the Road Map for Diagnosis
- Click here to view the full Australian consensus statement paper
- The Alopecia Areata Consensus of Experts (ACE) study: Results of an international expert opinion on tratments for alopecia Areata – Click here to read the full paper
The Cost to Government and Disutility of Alopecia Areata and an Investigator-Initiated, Placebo-controlled, Clinical Trial Investigating the Efficacy of Two Treatments for Alopecia Areata.
This study aimed to quantify the effectiveness of treatments for alopecia areata. We aim to use this data to support future applications for government contribution to treatments for Alopecia Areata, including listings on the PBS.
- Click here to read the Abstract
- Systemic Treatments of Alopecia Areata: The Efficacy of Cyclosporin – Click here to read the full thesis
- Cyclosporine for moderate-to-severe alopecia areata: A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial of efficacy and safety – Click here to read the full article
- Impact of Cyclosporin Treatment on Health Related Quality of Life of Patients with Alopecia Areata – Click here to read the full article
Systematic Review of the efficacy, safety and management considerations for tofacitinib – JAK Inhibitor use in Dermatology.
Tofacitinib is one of the Janus Kinase (JAK) inhibitor drugs currently in trial as a treatment for Alopecia Areata. This study reviewed numerous papers about tofacitinib use to treat a range of dermatological conditions – Alopecia Areata, Atopic Dermatitis, Psorasis and Vitilago.
Findings of most interest to individuals with Alopecia Areata include “Evidence for tofacitinibs’ efficacy in AA is stronger than for currently used systemics, which have not been subject to prospective trials. … Development of more “selective” JAK1/3 inhibitors, with theoretically less risk of hematopoietic toxicity, is presently being favored in clinical trials.”
This poster was presented at the Australasian College of Dermatologists 2018 Annual Scientific Meeting.
- Click here to download the complete poster.
- JAK inhibition in the treatment of alopecia areata – a promising new dawn? – Click here to read the complete paper
AAAF along with Sinclair Dermatology ran a 28 week study (starting in June 2015) on the treatment of Alopecia Areata with topical Janus kinase (JAK) Inhibitors.
Janus Kinase (JAK) inhibitors inhibit the activity of the JAK enzyme. The JAK enzymes are involved in signal transduction which plays a role in cytokine signalling. Cytokine signalling controls the growth of cells and the immune response. It is this immune response which causes alopecia areata. The purpose of this study is to demonstrate the efficacy of topical JAK inhibitors ruxolitinib ointment, tofacitinib ointment, versus clobetasol diproprionate ointment and placebo.
Four years ago, a team led by Professor Angela Christiano from the Columbia University Medical Centre discovered the genetic basis of alopecia areata, the most common auto-immune disease in humans. In this latest research, published in the scientific journal Nature Medicine, the same group had discovered the specific white blood cell, a type of t-cell, responsible for causing hair loss.
AAAF Funds Alopecia Areata research at Epworth Dermatology / University of Melbourne
AAAF has been successful in securing the services of Jane Li a PhD student at the University of Melbourne, studying the subtypes of immune cells (known as T cells) in Alopecia Areata. T cells are a type of white blood cell involved in various immune responses in the body. Much evidence exists to show AA is
a T cell mediated disorder. Memory T cells are a subset of T cells that persist in the body and provide an immunological ‘memory’. A new type of memory T cell known as resident memory T cells (TRM cells) has recently been described which reside in the skin and play an important part in skin immune function.
The overall objective of the research project is to determine the effects of corticosteroids on immune cells, known as T-cells, in the skin of alopecia areata patients.
Corticosteroids are the most common treatment for alopecia areata, but often cause debilitating side effects and has a 20% failure rate and significant side effects. Understanding why the significant failure rate and relapse pattern are the main drivers for this research.
Currently underway study involving 48 participants between 18-65, Australia-wide, with any form of Alopecia Areata. This study investigates the impact of acceptance and physical activity (exercise) in mental wellbeing for people with AA. Study participants receive a FitBit, which they may keep if they complete the study. This study is for those who seek positive lifestyle changes in their life, which requires a 6 week period of commitment. Options for the study have been adjusted to accommodate current lockdown due to COVID-19.
To find out more, please read the Participant Information Sheet.
AAAF’s project with RMIT University exploring the relationship between physical activity and mental health amoung people with Alopecia Areata was published in BMC Psychology.
Expanding on our project with RMIT University studying the impact of physical activity on mental health and quality of life for people with Alopecia Areata, AAAF engaged further research to analyze physical and emotional barriers to physical activity experienced by people with Alopecia Areata, with a look toward identifying solutions to these barriers.
- Click here to view the Quantitative Study Summary Poster
- Click here to view the Qualitative Study Summary Poster
AAAF engaged with RMIT University for study into the impact of physical activity on mental health and quality of life for people with Alopecia Areata. Ongoing study opportunities look toward analyzing physical and emotional barriers to physical activity experienced by people with Alopecia Areata, with a look toward identifying solutions to these barriers.
The current study is called “Associations between physical activity, quality of life (QoL) and mental health in patients with Alopecia Areata: The Physical Activity, quality of Life and Mental health (PALM) study.” by Jason Wong.
AAAF engaged the University of Victoria for study entitled: “Psychosocial Impact of living with a family member with Alopecia Areata” by Jennifer Davies
AAAF engaged the University of Victoria for two major pieces of psychological research.
1) The study is entitled “Alopecia and Acceptance: The Influence of Length in Time Since Diagnosis in Coping with Hair Loss Disorders.” by Ryan Veal
2) The study is entitled “Investigation the impact of Alopecia Areata on women’s self-esteem, mood states and coping”. by Jessica Martino
AAAF engaged the University of Victoria to do an exploratory study into Coping and the Psychosocial Impact of Alopecia Areata in Young Australians: An Exploratory Study by Louise Borg.