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JAMA 100 Years Ago
May 8, 2002

Dental Origin of Alopecia Areata.

Author Affiliations

JenniferReiling, Assistant Editor

JAMA. 2002;287(18):2330. doi:10.1001/jama.287.18.2330-JJY20012-2-1

In Jacquet's 273 cases of alopecia areata, which he traces to some lesion in the jaws or teeth, 37 of the subjects were between 3 and 7; 79 between 7 and 14; 22 between 14 and 19; and 68 between 19 and 30. The largest numbers correspond to the various phases of dentition. He is convinced that some excitation of the buccal terminals of the fifth nerve induces the alopecia at certain connected points. The region of the back of the neck, mastoid and lower jaw forms the special irritable zone. His cuts show the routes traveled by the excitation to induce the corresponding patch of alopecia. These patches are not located over the nerves but in the parts where the innervation is comparatively deficient. The morbid stimulus is reflected to the point of minimal cutaneous innervation. The alopecia vanishes with the healing of the dental lesion. The local neurotrophic cause requires a predisposition or the alopecia does not follow. Jacquet is so thoroughly convinced of the neurotrophic, non-parasitic nature of alopecia areata that he offers to allow himself to be inoculated in the scalp or beard from the most virulent case that Sabouraud and Hallopeau can produce.