Are You Going to Use Finasteride for Hair Loss? Read This First

Sold in the market under the brand names Propecia and Proscar, finasteride is a medication that is intended to treat people who are suffering from hair loss.  In the early days, finasteride was just like other medications that were originally used to treat benign prostatic hypertrophy and prostate cancer. It turns out that patients who took finasteride for their prostate-related issues had experienced great results with it, along with a surprising bonus, and that is, the growth of hair.

Finasteride actually works by means of inhibiting or stopping type II 5-alpha reductase, the enzyme responsible for converting the hormone testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT).  DHT, in turn, is the one responsible for losing one’s hair, resulting to baldness if not remedied.  Thus, simply put, the action of finasteride is to prevent the conversion of testosterone into DHT, and the end result would be the prevention of hair loss. This “favorable side effect” of preventing hair loss and promoting growth of new hair by finasteride is what made it famous in the pharmaceutical world, not by its primary use which is for treating benign prostatic hypertrophy and other prostate-related ailments. Read more…

Canadian-led study named top medical breakthrough of 2007

In a seemingly unlikely turn of events, a Manitoba-based physician's work has been crowned the top medical breakthrough in the entire world in 2007.

Research led by Dr Stephen Moses, who teaches microbiology and internal medicine at the University of Manitoba, received .

The study singled out for the honour found in Kenya. The Canadian Institutes of Health Research, which provided funding, is boasting today of its superb foresight.

a year ago about his research and its critics. "I think that it would be in order for the Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS) to revisit the issue of routine male circumcision, not just in the light of the findings of reduced risk for HIV infection, but in relation to other health benefits which have come to light in recent years," he said at the time.

You can read of Dr Moses on the International Centre for Infectious Diseases website, and check out more of Dr Moses's research . (Or you can read about Moses, the man who led the Jews out of Egypt in another kind of breakthrough altogether, , if you prefer. Moses was himself presumably circumcised, as Jewish custom dictates. Coincidence? Probably.)

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Is Time's list accurate? I have my doubts. Is a controversial, diarrhea-inducing OTC diet drug like orlistat (Alli) really more important in the long run than advances in stem cell research or improved lung cancer testing?

That kind of question echoes one of the central problems of medical research and medical reporting: how to balance the time and money allotted to research with an immediate payoff against research that, although it probably doesn't make much of a difference right away, may lay the groundwork for true breakthroughs later on. (It's another matter entirely to consider the frequent use of the term 'breakthrough' in the pages of daily newspapers these days to describe relatively minor bits and pieces of research.)

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