Monday, December 23, 2013

How Is Sickle Cell Anemia Inherited

Sickle-Cell "Cocktail"

Sickle-cell anemia is a genetic mutation. It is inherited when two parents transmit diseased genes to their children; each parent passes one mutated gene. If a child inherits a sickle gene from one parent, in most respects, it is not likely this child will get the disease. The child will, however posses a proverbial sickle-cell "cocktail" to pass on to his subsequent children.

What Is Sickle-Cell Anemia?

Sickle-cell anemia is a disease of the blood that causes red blood cells to be rigid. Healthy red blood cells normally move very easily through blood vessels. Sickle cells become hard and inflexible, which prevents them from moving anywhere. This is important because people need healthy blood vessels to maintain proper oxygen delivery, and they need red blood cells to make bone marrow, which is in turn responsible for making newer healthy red blood cells, yet again. Hemoglobin is a substance in the blood that helps cells with oxygen, and in sickle-cell anemia, this protein develops abnormally. When sickle cells don't move through blood vessels properly, they may simply stay where they are, which causes severe blockage in the vessels, and smaller pathways. Without enough oxygen, people cannot generate (regenerate) cellular tissue, and organs fail, ultimately causing a patient to die. Sickle-cell sufferers often become subject to strokes, heart attacks and other deadly illnesses.

Sickle Cell vs. Malaria

Interestingly enough, people with sickle cell anemia are less susceptible to malaria. In some anthropological circles, it is thought to be a form of human evolutionary response to an adverse environment. Sickle-cell anemia is inherited more often in populations from Africa, Asia and the Middle East, where cases of malaria number in the millions. This assessment is arguable, as experts maintain more people die of sickle-cell anemia than malaria.

Tags: blood cells, blood vessels, blood that, child will, healthy blood, Sickle Cell