Scientists have achieved many things over the course of history, and another breakthrough may be on the horizon. A paper published in the Scientific Reports journal reveals that a new drug has reversed certain effects of aging in mice, including hair loss, raising hopes for a baldness cure.


Scientists working under the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine have tested D-threo-1-phenyl-2-decanoylamino-3-morpholino-1-propanol (D-PDMP), a “glycosphingolipid synthesis inhibitor,” on mice. This experiment follows up on a previous study that contested diets composed of high fat and cholesterol adversely affect the body’s production of glycosphingolipids (GLS).


GLS are important to the skin, composing the cells on the skin’s upper most layer and influencing its pigment. Moreover, GLS also affects the pigments of the eyes and hair.

In the study’s first phase, the researchers genetically altered the mice to spur the development of atherosclerosis, an affliction that causes fat deposits to assemble in the arteries. Afterwards, the rodents were split into two groups, each given a different diet. One group was fed a Western diet high in fats and cholesterol, whereas the other group was given standard chow.

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The former group faired poorly; the subjects’ hair coloration faded and even began falling off, and the majority of them formed skin lesions. These symptoms got worse the longer they remained on the Western diet. However, these ailments began to be reversed as the rats ingested the D-PDMP compound, repairing the unlucky subjects’ hair and skin.

While additional research is needed, the paper concludes by saying “these results demonstrate that biopolymer-encapsulated D-PDMP could be a promising agent for therapeutic use for multiple skin and hair disorders via topical use and /or by oral delivery.”

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