A recent study has found that men who show signs of early balding may be at an increased risk of the rare but incurable disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which is also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
According to the researchers, the link between the two conditions may provide a new direction in investigating the poorly understood neurodegenerative condition.
The researchers examined more than 50,000 men ages 46 to 81, and asked them to recall the shape of their hairline at age 45, and choose from a series of pictures depicting no balding, moderate or extensive balding. Nearly 44 percent of men reported no balding, about 42 percent of men reported moderate balding and 14 percent reported extensive balding at 45 years old.
After 16 years, 11 of 5,500 men who had reported extensive balding were diagnosed with ALS, while 13 of 17,500 men with no balding were affected by the disease. This showed that men with extensive early balding were about three times as likely to develop ALS.
The study is published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
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