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Sickle Cell Disease -one of the Most Common Inherited Blood Disorders

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Genetic disorders are (usually) rare disease not caused by viruses or other pathogens, but rather from human genetics itself. These disorders are sometimes inherited, like cystic fibrosis, and other times caused by mutations, like Down’s syndrome. Sickle cell is a (inherited) genetic disorder and causes blood cells to shaped like sickles (hence the name), or crescent-shaped blades, to form and due to this, blood cells can’t carry oxygen as well as normal blood cells.

Sickle cell disease is caused by mutations due to the deletion of parts of chromosome number 11. This trait is recessive and can be passed on from parent to child. Although the sickle cell disease is harmful mutation due to health complications such as anemia, damage to the spleen, etc., it is also a beneficial mutation as carriers of this are resistant to malaria. Sickle cell is a disease that is very common among people with African, Hispanic, Asian, Middle Eastern, and south European descent. The malaria resistant trait proves to be a very useful for these people as these areas are tropical areas with mosquitos, so the risk of malaria is very high there, but with this trait, they cannot get malaria. People with the disease of sickle can live to around the age of 50. Some symptoms of the sickle cell disease are anemia, spleen infections, eye problems, and slow growth rates. Anemia is a condition where normal blood cells aren’t plentiful, therefore causing fatigue and tiredness (some people collapse due to this). Another thing sickle cell causes is spleen damage; the spleen is an organ that plays a crucial role in the immune system and because of this the person will have more infections. Due to sickle cell, there is also a chance to have late puberty and growth. Some eye problems that are caused by this disease are retina damage due to blood vessels clogged up with sickle cells.

Sickle cell disease is relatively easy to diagnose; a blood sample needs to be taken and tested. Although a cure is present, most people with sickle cell take medication that increases hemoglobin and combats the effects that the sickle cell disease (pain, fatigue, etc.). The cure involves bone marrow transplant and is extremely risky (this procedure is still being researched on to this day).

In conclusion, the sickle cell disease is an inherited genetic disorder, or a condition that is caused by human genetics, that causes blood cells to be sickle-shaped and these cells can’t carry blood as well as normal blood cells.

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