Sickle-Cell Anemia is an inherited, chronic blood disease in which the body produces abnormally shaped red blood cells. When the blood cells become crescent/sickle shaped, they are unable to deliver adequate amounts of oxygen to other cells. Also, these unusual “sickle” cells block blood pathways to the limbs and organs, limiting the amount of blood flowing throughout the body. It causes pain, organ damage, and anemia (low blood count). When someone is born with this disease, they live life knowing it is incurable. In Sickle-Cell Anemia, the 11th chromosome is affected, and causes the disorder. Symptoms of Sickle-
Cell Anemia include Hand-Foot syndrome, fatigue, breathlessness, rapid heart rate, delayed growth and puberty, susceptibility to infections, ulcers on the lower legs, jaundice, attacks of abdominal pain, weakness, joint pain, fever, vomiting, bloody urination, excessive thirst, chest pain, and decreased fertility. However, symptoms may not appear until four months after birth. Luckily, there are treatments that can delay Sickle-Cell Anemia longer. One of these treatments is called . Hydroxurea is actually a drug that decreases the number of nucleotides inside cells, which reduces the concentration of defective hemoglobin (sickle-cells). Another treatment for this disease is called Sulphasalazine. This is also a drug, and it works by reducing the number of "sticky" molecules on red blood cells in Sickle-Cell Anemia.
Furthermore, Poloxamer 108 is yet another drug that shortens the length of painful episodes in Sickle-Cell
Anemia. It works by improving blood flow in the blood vessels, surrounding the painful area. Although these drugs work to “cover up” the disease, and delay its spread, there still isn’t enough research to create a cure for Sickle-Cell Anemia.
In order to find out if a person has Sickle-Cell Anemia, doctors need to diagnose him/her using special methods. One simple, inexpensive method, which happens to be the most common one, includes giving the blood test called hemoglobin electrophoresis. It shows the hemoglobin type in a person’s body. This blood test is now given in more than forty states, and is mostly performed on newborn babies. These tests also tell whether or not the child carries the Sickle-Cell trait. In addition, another method of diagnosis is called the