sickle cell disease Essay

The genetic disorder I was told to research was the Sickle Cell Disease. I will explain what

mutation causes this disease, the characteristics of it, and what has developed in the area

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The Sickle Cell Disease is an inherited disease. The gene for hemogoblin-S (which

causes the disease) is the most common inherited blood condition in America; although

most people only inherit one copy of the gene for HbS, while the other gene,

hemogoblin-A, is normal, and can override HbS, blocking the disease.

These people have

the HbS trait, but not the disease, therefore leading a normal life. For an offspring to

acquire the disease, both parents must have the HbS gene, yet the child only has a 25%

chance of having Sickle Cells. You cannot catch the disease, you are born with it and it is

There are many complications and harmful effects as the result of the Sickle Cell

Disease. The disease causes hemoglobin in the red blood cells, when it does not receive

sufficient oxygen, to form into long, sickle shapes with a sticky, chemical surface.

When

blood cells are this form, they cannot go through the capillaries, blocking off both blood

and oxygen. Fortunately only 20% of all red blood cells become Sickle Cells; the sickle

cells have a shorter life span; and most blood cells go through the capillaries before

becoming sickle-shaped. The most painful effect known from Sickle Cell Disease are

episodes of pain called Sickle Cell Crisis, where the body is in need of oxygen, either from

physical activities or a sickle blood cell blocking blood passages that lead to organs. The

first day is the worst, where devastating pain goes to the arm, leg, and back, along with

the shortness of breath. The other symptoms of Sickle Cells include: strokes, increased

infections, early gallstones, yellow discoloring of eyes and skin, low blood cell counts

For the cause of the Sickle Cell Disease, there has been many research going on in

the area of gene therapy. Labs around the world are trying to fix the basic genetic defect,

by placing the correct amino acid in the hemogoblin before or shortly after birth. This

method would result in the cure of the root of the problem. Currently researchers are

finding a safe way to perform this method. To try to ease the pain caused by Sickle Cell

Disease, a substance that can prevent red blood cells from sickling without causing harm

to other parts of the body, hydroxyurea was found to reduce the frequency of severe pain,

acute chest syndrome and the need for blood transfusions in adult patients with sickle cell

disease. Droxia, the prescription form of hydroxyurea, was approved by the FDA in 1998

and is now available for adult patients with sickle cell anemia. Studies will now be

conducted to determine the proper dosage for children.The Sickle Cell Disease is a state of suffering, yet it is not as serious as it used to

be, where children with the disease was not expected to live through childhood. Now with

aggressive treatments, victims’ lives are prolongs and improving its quality; and with the

researching completed, a full cure of the disease can be possible.

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