Suggestion that hair Loss is caused by a virus


Business Insider just released an interesting article that hair loss is potentially caused by…dun dun dun…a virus?

"The paper by Polansky and Kestenbaum identifies, for the first time, the cause of hair loss in men and women: latent, or hidden viruses. The paper describes how certain latent viruses cause hair loss and balding . The paper uses the Microcompetition Model introduced by Hanan Polansky to explain how certain latent viruses increase the expression of the 5α-reductase gene in infected individuals [,].

According to the paper, certain viral genes compete with cellular genes for genetic resources. When someone is infected with a virus that carry such a gene, the viral gene increases the production of the 5α-reductase and the androgen receptor in the scalp of the infected individual. The increase of these proteins leads to hair loss and balding. The paper concludes by saying that since certain latent viruses are the cause of hair loss, future treatments should target these viruses ."

So, more evidence that our issue is epigenetic?

If there is a “latent” or dormant virus in us, it suggest to me that we prone to finasteride agitating a dormant virus that would otherwise go undetected. However, as we know, not everyone who has male pattern baldness and who has taken propecia has long term side effects, so that confuses my theory. The other interesting part is “the viral gene increases the production of 5ar” so, it would seem that those with the virus have excess levels of 5ar, and perhaps finasteride cutting those high levels would have a more significant impact on those who don’t contain the virus? Not sure what to make of it.


Virus… very Interesting


Nice work @trav.
Very interesting paper.

For everyone interested (full text):


Non me lo apre è corretto il link?


Yes, you have to change DNS.
Your internet service provider (ISP) blocks connection.
In Italy sci-hub is banned.


Thank you. And thank you for posting the full text.


you misinterpreted how this relates to us.


How so? (20 char limit)


Well this goes some way in explaining why I started losing my hair within a month of coming down with mononucleosis in early 2016. Always had a feeling that there was some connection…


The introduction of the motion that latent viruses have effects on gene expression really is a ‘Deus ex machina’ in the whole process of explaining our syndrome.

For instance, perhaps one subset of this suspected virus with a particular genotype may render people infected more subject to AR overrxpression in the case of androgen manipulation than say, 98% of such viruses wherein people don’t have overexpression like we do. I question whether this knowledge may drive us to bark up the wrong tree and perhaps invest excessive funds in understanding the genetic drivers which predispose a person to PFS rather than investing in researching treatments.

I wholeheartedly understand the utility in being able to create an animal model once the genomic aspect towards susceptibility is uncovered, but if we are sure that AR overexpression is what’s causing our symptoms, can’t we just induce such a state in, say, rats and attempt to treat them insomuch as improving symptoms which result from an overexpression?