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January2005 Vol.42 Issue:        1        Table of Contents
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Role of Sympathetic Nervous System Dysfunction in Alopecia Areata

Ahmed Azab1, Magdy El-Sohafy2, Ahmed Abd EI-Khabir2, Ahmed Abo-Eleneen3
Departments of Neurology1, Dermatology & Andrology2, Mansoura University, Clinical Pathology, Tanta University3


Thirty patients with alopecia areata (AA) and ten normal controls were included in the present study. The patients were classified into 3 groups; 20 patient with localized alopecia areata (LAA), 6 patients with alopecia totalis (AT) and 4 patients with alopecia universalis(AU). Sympathetic skin response (SSR) recording as a test for autonomic nervous system function were done for patients and controls. There were no statistically significant differences in latency and amplitude between patients and controls indicating that AA did not have a significant effect on SSR. Also, there were no significant differences between different groups of patients and controls as regard blood pressure and heart rate. The role of catecholamines as neurotransmitters related to stress was assessed by measuring blood levels of noradrenaline (NA) and dopamine b hydroxylase (D b H). A statistically moderately significant increases in the mean blood levels of NA and DbH were found in patients with AT and AU. However, a non-significant increase in the mean blood NA level and a mildly significant increase in the mean blood DbH level were found in patients with LAA as compared to controls. In conclusion, AA did not have a significant effect on SSR. However, to exclude any autonomic dysfunction, other tests for complete evaluation of autonomic NS should be evaluated in a future study. Also, liability in catecholamines secretion could have a role in pathogenesis of AA or in determination of its clinical pattern, though; the effect of stress as a result of the disease on catecholamines secretion should be considered.

(Egypt J. Neurol. Psychiat. Neurosurg., 2005, 42(1): 1-7).

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