Sickle Cell Disease Research Project

Authors Avatar by mcsadmeal0123hotmailcom (student)


Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is caused by an irregular type of hemoglobin (hemoglobin is the oxygen carrying protein in red blood cells), called hemoglobin sickle or hemoglobin S. Hemoglobin S alters the shape of red blood cells (especially when cells are open to low oxygen levels). When hemoglobin S is deoxygenated, it tends to clump with other deoxygenated hemoglobin, interrupting the flow of blood to any given area of the body. When this happens an SCD patient is said to be in “crisis” the patient can experience severe pain, organ damage, joint damage, various medical problems, and even stroke.

Signs and Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of SCD vary. Some people have minor symptoms, while others can have severe symptoms and often require hospitalization for treatment.  The most common signs and symptoms of SCD are anemia (lack of red blood cells) and pain (or a vaso-occlusive episode), other symptoms are linked to complications that SCD causes (such as organ damage, joint damage, and even stroke).

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Factors and Risks of SCD

SCD is an inherited disease. People who have SCD inherit two sickle cell genes (one from each parent). People who inherit a sickle cell gene from one parent and a normal gene from another parent are considered “carriers” of the sickle cell trait. People who have the sickle cell trait can experience some symptoms of SCD, but they usually live normal lives.

People who are of Black or Hispanic descent or said to be at a higher risk for SCD and are encouraged to test for the sickle cell gene. This is because the weakened ...

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