Sickle Cell Anemia

Topics: Red blood cell, Hemoglobin, Sickle-cell disease Pages: 6 (2034 words) Published: June 28, 2008
There have been many researches and tests done on the genetic causes of Sickle Cell Anemia and how it developes, as well as it's effects on the circulatory, muscular, and respiratory systems, as well as it's effects on the joints and other systems of the body, and the complications associated with them. Most of the research has been done to explore on the reasons why it mostly effects the African-American community and people who are from the West Coast of Africa. It has also been known that Sickle Cell Anemia also effects people from the Mediterranean countries (Wethers, 2000)

Sickle Cell Anemia is a the most common single gene disorder found mostly among Black Americans (Wethers, 2000). According to scientific research, it affects approximately one in 375 persons of African ancestry. According to one researcher, "Sickle Cell conditions are also found to be in persons from Mediterranean countries also, such as Turkey, the Arabian peninsula, and the Indian subcontinent"( Wethers, 2000, p.1014). Extensive research has also proved that Spanish speaking persons in the United States, plus people from the Caribbean and South and Central America, are also effected by Sickle Cell Anemia (Wethers, 2000)

The first case of Sickle Cell Anemia was first published in 1910 by scientists, and has since then been followed by at least six decades of many observations, which include genetic, molecular, and pathologic observations (Wethers, 2000) Large bodies of clinical data has on the evolution of Sickle Cell Anemia from birth has been gathered on studies of children since the 1970's (Wethers, 2000) The United States has studied 3,500 patients

Page 2 with the Sickle Cell disease, and based on these studies, the longevity and quality of life of these patients have greatly improved (Wethers, 2000). It has been researched and proven that Sickle Cell Anemia have come from mutations within the human genes that is associated with being immune to malaria, a parasitic blood disease which is carried and contracted by infected mosquitoes (Wethers, 2000) Since malaria is mostly found in hot, moist areas in West Africa and the Mediterranean, people originating from that area produced an immunity to towards malaria, but with consequences. The individual will not contract malaria because the mutation in his or her genes quickly fights off the disease by changing the shapes and composition make-up of the blood cell so the parasites will not be able to survive in it. (Wethers, 2000). The consequence of this is that because the individual's blood cells mutates and becomes misshapen, becoming "moon-crescent" or sickle-shaped", or even get spiked shaped. The blood cells then grows and becomes too big to pass through most blood vessels, mostly capillaries and veins, and clump together, forming a mass. (Wethers, 2000) The blood vessels where this happens mostly is associated with the joints and the lungs. When this happens, the child or adults experiences great amounts of pain in their joints and fingers, making it almost impossible for them to ambulate. The joints then get swollen and red. Another condition is that the clump of mutated blood cells can travel to the vessels of the heart and cause a blockage. This is called a thrombosis (Wethers, 2000) According to research, "The most common forms, or variants of Sickle Cell Anemia are homozygous (hemoglobin SS disease), doubly heterozygous sickle cell

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hemoglobin C disease (hemoglobin SC disease), and the sickle Beta-thalassemias" (Wethers, 2000, p. 1014) Children and adults with homozygous sickle cell disease inherit a sickle cell (S) gene from each of their parents, and shows all the signs and symptoms of Sickle Cell Anemia, such as...
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