Sickle Cell Disease

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Sickle Cell Disease:

Sickle Cell Disease SCD is a genetic disorder in which the body makes sickle-cell shaped red-blood cells Kyla Collins


SCD Normal red-blood cells look like doughnuts without holes in the middle. They also have hemoglobin which is an iron rich protein that carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. People with SCD have abnormal hemoglobin which causes red blood cells to be crescent shaped.


Risks People with SCD have a higher rate of infection than those with normal red-blood cells. The disease causes acute chest syndrome and pulmonary hypertension Splenic crises may also occur. The spleen is an organ that normally filters out abnormal blood cells and help fight infections. Since all sickle cells are abnormal, the spleen might trap them and grow large. If this happens, the person has to have a blood transfusion. Eye damage and stroke are also risks involved with SCD


Causes/Prevention People with sickle cell disease are born with it. This means that there is no possible way to prevent it.


Treatment There isn’t a widely available cure, but treatments can help relieve symptoms and complications Blood and marrow stem cell transplants are available as a cure for SCD however it’s difficult to find a donor and it the transplant can lead to more serious damage or death Many receive treatment by taking painkillers for any pain they might feel and having regular doctor visits to make sure they don’t have infections


Treatment Infection Children from 2 months to 5 years can be treated daily with antibiotics to prevent infections They should have all routine vaccinations including a yearly flu shot and the pneumococcal vaccine Adults should also get flu shots yearly and get vaccinated against pneumonia

Gene Therapy:

Gene Therapy Possible treatment for SCD where researchers take a normal gene which can be put into bone marrow stem cells of a person with SCD and hopefully cause the marrow to make normal red-blood cells

New medicines:

New medicines Decitabine : prompts the body to make fetal hemoglobin (the type of hemoglobin that infants are born with) which prevents red-blood cells from sickling Adenosine A2a agonists: may reduce pain-related symptoms and complications associated with SCD 5-HMF: natural compound that sticks to red-blood cells and increases their oxygen; reduces sickling of red-blood cells


Epidemiology 4,000-5,000 pregnancies are at risk for developing SCD in the United States each year In Africa, 6-9 million babies are born each year with the disease SCD occurs most commonly in people of African American, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, West Indian and Central/South American descent


Sources "Cell Trials." Stem Cell Blog . N.p ., 16 Dec. 2007. Web. 30 May 2014. "How Is Sickle Cell Anemia Treated?" - NHLBI, NIH . National Institutes of Health, 28 Sept. 2012. Web. 29 May 2014. Image of normal red-blood cells vs. sickle cells. Digital image. Mudphudder . N.p ., n.d . Web. 30 May 2014. "Sickle Cell Anemia." Mayo Clinic . Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 26 Mar. 2011. Web. 30 May 2014. "Sickle Cell Disease." Clinical Key . Elsevier, Inc, 2012. Web. 30 May 2014 "Workshop About Sickle Cell Anemia Disease." Blogspot , 23 Jan. 2011. Web. 30 May 2014. Zeller, John L. "Pulmonary Hypertension." JAMA Network . American Medical Association, 7 Oct. 2009. Web. 30 May 2014

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