Alopecia Aerata

Volume: 10
Issue: 2
February 15, 2015
Alopecia Aerata

Dear Colleagues:

Last month I wrote about a case that surprisingly had an interference field lurking in the background.  The pioneers of neural therapy urged us to look for interference fields even in the most unlikely cases.  Here is another such case:

An otherwise healthy 22 year old woman presented with large bald patches on her scalp that had been diagnosed by her dermatologist as alopecia areata. Her hair had begun to fall out 4 months before.  There had been no preceding trauma, illness or surgical procedure and she felt in excellent health apart from mild chronic constipation.

Past trauma included a skidoo accident at age 19 when she had sustained a fracture of her left clavicle.  Her only surgical history was wisdom teeth extractions at age 17. She had never had a serious illness.  

Physical examination demonstrated circular bald patches scattered irregularly over much of her scalp. The only other physical findings of note were leukonychia on her fingernails of both hands and mild dental enamel hypoplasia.

Her dermatologist had attempted to treat her alopecia with local subcutaneous steroid injections, but to no avail.

Alopecia areata is known to be an autoimmune disease and my first inclination was to explore that aspect of my patient’s condition.  The dental enamel hypoplasia was a strong marker of gluten sensitivity, which probably underlies most autoimmune disease. (The risk of autoimmune disease is 10 times higher in the gluten sensitive who continue to consume gluten.)  The leukonychia indicated zinc deficiency, which in a non-vegetarian is likely due to poor digestion or malabsorption and is also a “red flag” for gluten sensitivity.

A Pubmed search revealed that  the association of alopecia areata and gluten sensitivityhas been known since at least 1995.  Eliminating gluten from the diet has had mixed results: two papers reported no change; in otherscomplete cures resulted. 

Alopecia areata has been proposed as a model condition for research into autoimmune disease because biopsy material is so readily available. It is known that theautoimmune activity occurs in “immune privilege sites” of the hair follicles where infiltration of CD4+ and CS8+ cells occur in association with a predominant Th1 cytokine profile. A recent paper suggests that oxidative stress might be a trigger for the autoimmune process.  Low serum folate has also been correlated. 

Given this information I ordered testing for gluten sensitivity (stool testing for antigliadin IgA – more sensitive than that of blood), a serum vitamin D (always important in autoimmune disease) and routine blood chemistry.

But remembering the old advice – to always look for interference fields no matter the condition, I checked the patient’s wisdom teeth scars by autonomic response testing and found (to my surprise) an interference field in tooth space 2.8 (left upper wisdom tooth).  I treated it immediately with the Tenscam device. (A local infiltration of dilute procaine would have had the same effect.)

The patient returned for a follow-up visit seven weeks later. I was expecting to discuss her lab results (the gluten sensitivity testing results had not yet arrived) and was quite surprised to hear her say that her hair had begun to regrow one week after the neural therapy treatment of her wisdom tooth space.  And the bald spaces were now filling with long healthy hair!

We still have much to learn about autoimmune disease.  Dr. Papathanasiou, of Athens, Greece gave a lecture (newsletter volume 8, no.10) at the Austrian Neural Therapy Society’s 2013 meeting on the possibility of interference fields being able to signal not only the nervous system but also the immune system and the endocrine system.  He has contributed a chapter on this subject to Stephan Weinschenk’s textbook “Handbuch Neuraltherapie”, unfortunately still available only in German.

In my experience it is not unusual to find interference fields associated with autoimmune disease.  Gluten sensitivity is (nearly?) always present and infection is often a trigger.   Treating the interference field does not always solve the problem, but it does in some, and a search for them should always be undertaken.

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