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Thalassaemia is an inherited disease that is caused when there are mutations or a missing gene that affects how haemoglobin is produced. Haemoglobin is the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen around the body.

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Thalassaemia Thalassaemia is an inherited disease that is caused when there are mutations or a missing gene that affects how haemoglobin is produced. Haemoglobin is the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen around the body. If you have thalassaemia, it means you don't have enough red blood cells, and therefore do not produce enough haemoglobin; this could result in either mild or severe anaemia. Haemoglobin is made up of four polypeptide chains, two alpha globin and two beta globin. If you have alpha thalassaemia, this means that you have a mutation with your alpha chains: you can either have minor (a) or major (b) Alpha To make enough alpha globin protein chains, you inherit two genes (one from each parent). ...read more.


Beta To make enough beta globin protein chains, you need two genes (two from each parent). Beta thalassaemia occurs when one or more of the genes is mutated, this is the most common thalassaemia and also the worst. * if one gene is affected you are likely to have beta thalasaemia minor, you may also experience mild anaemia and you will be a carrier. * if all your genes are mutated you will have beta thalasaemia intermedia also known as moderate anaemia or mild Cooley's anaemia. You could also get beta thalassaemia major or severe anaemia. There are several ways in which this disease can be treated/cured depending in how severe the case is. ...read more.


In addition to this there is cord blood transfusion, which is also a possible cure. This is a disease that relies heavily on donors, however with a depleting population of people that want to donate blood and organs; it is becoming harder to get the necessary supplies needed for the patient. Due to religions and other cultural beliefs the treatment needed to help people with thalassaemia goes against their beliefs. The social aspect of this is that, they are sometimes academically disadvantaged because they have to spend extended periods of time in the hospital, which also leads them to a disadvantaged social life as well. http://www.daviddarling.info/encyclopedia/T/thalassemia.html http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/Thalassemia/Thalassemia_Causes.html http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000587.htm http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Thalassaemia/Pages/Causes.aspx http://www.healthcentral.com/graphics/images/en/19510.jpg http://biology.kenyon.edu/BMB/Chime/Lisa/FRAMES/hemetext.htm http://medicalimages.allrefer.com/large/thalassemia-major.jpg http://medicalimages.allrefer.com/large/thalassemia-minor.jpg ...read more.

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This is a good overview of the condition but a lack of precise (and occasionally accurate) scientific detail lets it down.

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Marked by teacher Adam Roberts 25/10/2014

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