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Sickle cell enemia - Research Paper Example

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Sickle cell anemia (SCA) or drepanocytosis is a common form of sickle cell disease, a fatal disorder which distorts the normal biconcave shape of the red blood cells to a rigid, sickle (crescent) shape. This abnormal shape of the red blood cells makes the cells inflexible and…
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Download file to see previous pages The disorder shortens the life expectancy of patients with few living beyond the age of fifty.
Since its discovery, doctors have worked towards developing a cure for the disease. The cure has been elusive and only methods for reducing severity of the disorder such as taking penicillin and folic acid and the use of hydroxyurea for causative treatment of the disorder. Other management practices include blood transfusion therapy that raises the number of red blood cells in a patient. Bone marrow transplants in children have also been proven to significantly reduce severity of the disorder (“Woman Cured of SCA” 6).
In June 2012, researchers from the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Science Systems, announced that they had developed a new transplant technique that successfully cures a sickle-cell anemia patient. The stem cell transplant requires one to have a genetically-compatible and uninfected sibling. The donor is first given drugs that cause an increase in the number of the stem cells in their blood. The donor’s blood is then taken and processed and then stored in sub-zero temperatures. At the time of the transplant, the blood is thawed and transfused in the patient ( Woman Cured of SCA 6). The transplant which is known as leukapheresis has been carried in at least 25 patients, 22 of whom have been completely cured. The therapy remains by far the most successful ever attempted to cure sickle-cell ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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