What is Sickle Cell Anemia?

Sickle cell anemia is a hereditary condition that alters the structure of the body’s red blood cells. Red blood cells in people with sickle cell anemia have defective haemoglobin molecules, which gives the cells a crescent or sickle shape. These aberrant cells have the potential to lodge themselves in tiny blood vessels, restricting oxygen and blood flow to numerous organs and resulting in pain, damage, and sometimes life-threatening consequences.

A mutation in the HBB gene, which gives instructions for producing haemoglobin, a protein that carries oxygen in the blood, results in sickle cell anemia. Haemoglobin S, the aberrant haemoglobin, has a propensity to clump and stay together, altering the structure of red blood cells and lowering their capacity to transport oxygen.

Due to the fact that sickle cell anemia is inherited, it is handed down from parents to their offspring. People of African heritage are more likely to experience it, while it can also happen to those with Hispanic, Middle Eastern, Indian, or Mediterranean ancestry.

Sickle cell anemia cannot be cured, although there are therapies to control symptoms and avoid consequences. Blood transfusions, stem cell transplants, and drugs to treat severe cases of an illness or discomfort are a few examples of these.

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Santhakumar Raja

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