From Targets to Treatments: Bridging Autoimmune Research to Advance Understanding of Alopecia Areata

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Abstract

Alopecia areata is a common autoimmune skin disease resulting in the loss of hair on the scalp and elsewhere on the body that affects over 146 million people worldwide at some point in their lives. Founded in 1981, the National Alopecia Areata Foundation (NAAF) is a nonprofit organization that supports research to find a cure or acceptable treatment for alopecia areata, supports those with the disease, and educates the public about alopecia areata. NAAF conducts research summits every 2 years that are central to achieving the goals of a major strategic initiative, the Alopecia Areata Treatment Development Program, which are: to accelerate progress toward a safe, effective, affordable treatment or a cure for alopecia areata. These summits have played a key role in transforming the understanding of alopecia areata from largely inflammatory and dermatological perspectives to a focus on the genetic and immunological factors that are now recognized as driving and active determinants of the disease process.

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