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The twisting tale of woolly hair: a trait with many causes


Woolly hair is an uncommon condition among non-black people, which may be an isolated finding or associated with additional clinical symptoms. When woolly hair is accompanied by palmoplantar keratoderma, it may herald a deadly cardiomyopathy, and therefore this condition should alert the physician for a heart disorder. Until recently, the underlying causes for this rare phenotype were obscure, and only three genes were associated with this condition. However, in recent years, many more genes were found to underlie this disorder, uncovering new molecular pathways. Better knowledge of the different mechanisms that control the curliness of hair may offer new treatment options for this condition, and may also make it possible to affect hair texture in general.

  • Dermatology
  • Arrhythmias
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Genetic screening/counselling
  • Congenital heart disease

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