According to legend, on the night before she was beheaded, French Queen Marie Annette’s hair turned white overnight. It was not the first case in history. In the 16th century, Thomas Moor, a staunch opponent of secession from the Catholic Church in Britain, had a similar experience before his execution. What, then, contributed to this change?

Also known as Marie Antoinette Syndrome Canities suitaIt is not an unresolved debate in the scientific community. His stories are widespread, but there are very few scientific studies. A few of these include reports of World War II survivors of people suffering from the syndrome, but this is still controversial. In fact, some researchers have argued that we do not know how to do this.

In a relatively recent report in 1957, an American dermatologist observed that the hair of a 63-year-old man turned white within weeks. The man had fallen to a certain extent. He also reported hair loss, but not major baldness repairs; After 17 months, he had extensive vitiligo (pale spots on the skin) as well as gray hair.

The syndrome (if any) appears to be triggered by high levels of stress, which can lead to hair loss. This is consistent with studies of natural hair graying, which researchers say is stress-induced – and surprisingly, it is variable (unless the body loses its ability to produce melanin). But there are still very few well-documented cases. Canities suita, And studies are few and far between.

Marie Annette Syndrome Science

At the age of 45, neurologist Brown Secard suddenly found white hair on some parts of his beard. He pulled them out, but a few days later he found new white hair. He continued the process over and over again, and over the next 5-6 weeks, he would always find new white hair in his beard, looking like it had been overnight.

A.D. A 2013 medical review covers Brown-Secard and 195 other cases. In the case of a neurologist, there is no stimulus, and discoloration does not occur overnight (although it does occur rapidly). However, in most cases, emotional distress is seen as a major cause.

“Of the 196 cases in our collection, 126 were traumatic or emotional,” said the study’s authors.

“For example, in March 1923, a 62-year-old widow slipped and fell and was seriously injured. She remained in the hospital for 3 months. The woman had black hair, which measured 80 cm in the occipital region of her head. On the morning of the second day in the hospital, the frontal hemispheres of her head were white, about 1 cm long. [..] The woman underwent a final examination 92 days after being discharged from the hospital.

Some issues are related to mental illness. In one case, a 13-year-old woman with severe dementia and epilepsy experienced hair loss and relapse – according to recent studies. Hair color change.

“Her hair color changed from yellow-yellow to reddish-gold and back again and again. Redness lasts for 7 or 8 days, always associated with periods of stress. There was no alopecia, the chance of hair dye was ruled out and many caregivers and doctors noticed these frequent color changes. A 21-year-old woman suffers from schizophrenia. ”

However, some researchers do not consider Marie Antoinette Syndrome as a problem in itself, but as an acute alopecia areata – a type of point baldness, in which hair is lost from some or all parts of the body.

However, this is far from the case.

“While there is no conclusive evidence that rapid canities can occur without concomitant alopecia areata diffusa, this is one of the most proven cases that causes a more systematic examination of the causes of hair loss. .

Solving Science from Myth

One thing is clear so far: Marie Annette Syndrome is more common in stories and myths than in real life. It is a wonderful story, but it is difficult to distinguish facts from fiction. In fact, one study decided to refute the myth of Henry IV of France.

If it’s really a different situation, it seems to be associated with stress – which points to a state of self-defense. But a study of rats seems to disprove this hypothesis. Studies show that stress causes white hair to develop in rats, even when the immune system is weakened – thus suppressing the immune system. The study concluded that stem cells are responsible for over-stimulating the sympathetic nervous system (triggering the fight or flight response) by stopping the production of pigment cells in hair follicles. However, since this is not a large study and has been on animals, further research is needed to draw strong conclusions about humans.

In fact, one study suggests that the history of Marie Annette’s syndrome is associated with alopecia areata or hair coloring. But this does not seem to be the case, at least in some cases. So science is not really developed here and there is a fair disagreement among researchers – partly due to age and occasional issues.

Marie Annette’s syndrome has historically been associated with severe anxiety. But while stress can cause premature graying, it is not clear if it can be done overnight (or in a few weeks). It may be related to hormonal imbalances or some autoimmune conditions, but at this point, there is not enough information to come to a clear conclusion. Undoubtedly, researchers will continue to investigate this syndrome and hopefully, we will get to the root of things soon.