Historical Past and Modern Endocrinology
General Napier of the British Army in the employ of the East India Trading Company, with a meagre resource of 500 european and 4500 “native” soldiers faced a formidable army of Sindhi Warriors in the Province of Sindh. There were 26000 soldiers ready to annihilate the Infidel from England.
Napier was a brilliant soldier and he defeated the Sindhis not once but twice.
For those of you acquainted with one of the more Christian prayers, you would understand the pun, when Napier telegraphed London
I HAVE SIND..
Bald Men of Sind, Can they grow hair?
Darwin and the 'toothless men of Sind'
In 1875, Charles Darwin described an ectodermal dyspasia affecting the members of a Hindu kindred near Hyderabad:
"I may give an analogous case, communicated to me by Mr W Wedderburn, of a Hindoo family in Scinde, in which ten men, in the course of four generations, were furnished, in both jaws taken together, with only four small and weak incisor teeth and with eight posterior molars. The men thus affected have very little hair on the body, and become bald early in life. They also suffer much during hot weather from excessive dryness of the skin. It is remarkable that no instance has occurred of a daughter being affected...though the daughters in the above family are never affected, they transmit the tendency to their sons: and no case has occurred of a son transmitting it to his sons. The affection thus appears only in alternate generations, or after long intervals."
In 1989, they found children belonging to three closely related families with a mutation of the Vitamin D receptor and the classic picture of Vitamin D deficiency Rickets. I am not saying that the Bald Men of Sind had Vitamin D receptor anomalies but it is interesting to speculate..
Vitamin D receptor mediates the biological actions of 1,25 Hydroxy Vitamin D, lacking which, there would be abnormalities in the ion homeostasis, leading to OSTEOMALACIA, RICKETS, HYPERPARATHYROIDISM . These people also are noted to have alopecia ( that is why I began this note with the Bald Men of Sind!)
Replenishing these people with Vitamin D, the direct action corrects the secondary hyperparathyroidism, osteomalacia and Rickets but alors, not ALOPECIA..
It seems that ALOPECIA is due to impaired Vitamin D receptor action in the keratinocyte component of hair follicle, thus requiring another pathway!
Alas.. for the Bald men of Sind, they won’t break bones or have bowed legs but will have to wear a Toupee!