What Causes Sickle Cell Anemia

1212 Words5 Pages
Sickle cell anemia: What Causes Sickle Cell Anemia? Sickle Cell and Haemoglobin S Sickle cell anemia is an inherited condition. People with sickle cell anemia inherit two copies of the sickle cell gene, one from each parent. The sickle cell gene makes abnormal haemoglobin called haemoglobin-S. In sickle cell anemia, the abnormal haemoglobin (Haemoglobin-S) sticks together when it gives up its oxygen to the tissues. These clumps cause red blood cells to become stiff and shaped like a sickle. It takes two copies of the sickle cell gene for the body to make the abnormal haemoglobin found in sickle cell anemia. Sickle-cell anemia is caused by a point mutation in the ß-globin chain of haemoglobin, replacing the amino acid glutamic…show more content…
This condition is inherited in an autosomal recessive pattern, which means both copies of the gene in each cell have mutations. The parents of an individual with an autosomal recessive condition each carry one copy of the mutated gene, but they typically do not show signs and symptoms of the condition. Symptoms and other effects: Symptoms of sickle cell disease vary, ranging from mild to severe, and may be less severe or different in children who have inherited a sickle cell gene from one parent and a different abnormal haemoglobin gene from the other. Most people with sickle cell disease have some degree of anemia and might develop one or more of the following conditions and symptoms as part of the disorder: Acute chest syndrome: Inflammation, infection, and occlusion of small vessels may cause this syndrome. Signs include chest pain, coughing, difficulty breathing, and fever. Aplastic crisis: This is when the bone marrow temporarily slows its production of RBCs due to infection or another cause, resulting in a serious drop in RBCs and severe anemia. Signs include paleness, fatigue, and rapid…show more content…
Treatments: Bone marrow transplant is the only known cure for sickle cell disease. Transplants are complex and risky procedures and currently are an option only for a carefully selected subset of patients with severe complications. To be eligible, a child would need bone marrow or stem cells from a "matched" donor with a low risk of rejection. Even then, the procedure has significant risks and there's always the chance of rejection of the transplanted marrow. But even without a cure, kids with sickle cell disease can lead relatively normal lives. Medicines are available to help manage the pain, and immunisations and daily doses of penicillin (an antibiotic) can help prevent infection. Infection used to cause many deaths in infants and young children with sickle cell disease, but thanks to penicillin (or a similar antibiotic, amoxicilin) and appropriate immunisations, kids are much more likely to live longer, healthier lives. Although penicillin isn't a cure, it can help prevent life-threatening infections due to bacteria that cause serious infections in the blood, meningitis, and

More about What Causes Sickle Cell Anemia

Open Document