November 1967

Alopecia Areata

Author Affiliations

From the Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, the University of Maryland School of Social Work, and the Baltimore Psychoanalytic Institute, Baltimore.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1967;17(5):608-614. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1967.01730290096012

IT HAS BEEN said that speculations about the etiology of alopecia areata have known no bounds.1 Various causes have been suggested, including focal infections, endocrine disturbances, diseases of the nervous system, impacted wisdom teeth, and toxic factors.2 Quite regularly it has been considered that emotional factors play a major or significant role, though it is generally agreed that the cause remains unknown.1-4

Alopecia areata usually presents itself as an isolated, asymptomatic loss of hair from a circumscribed plaque usually on the scalp, with regrowth in a few months. This limited form (partialis) may progress to total loss of hair from the scalp and other sites (totalis). In 1963, Muller and Winkelman5 reviewed 736 cases of alopecia areata seen in ten years at the Mayo Clinic. In their paper they studied the character and course of the disorder, and noted the incidence of associated

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