About sickle cell disease and cure

In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on March 12, 2009 at 1:08 pm


About sickle cell disease and cure -Thursday, March 12, 2009 -Ann Arbor News

# Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder that affects about one in 625 African Americans. Sickle cells are defective red blood cells that are supposed to carry oxygen, but instead clump and block blood vessels, causing excruciating pain, strokes, and damage to the brain, heart, kidneys, lungs, bones and muscle.

# The only cure has been a bone marrow transplant from a related donor, usually a sibling. African-American donors are the best genetic match for African-American sickle cell and cancer patients. Patients have only a 14 percent chance of a family match because family members also tend to have the disease. People who have the sickle cell trait, but not the disease, may donate blood and bone marrow.

# Bone marrow donation no longer requires drilling holes in the donor’s pelvic bones to harvest marrow. Donors receive injections of a medication that draws stem cells out of bone marrow into the bloodstream. Blood is taken through an intravenous line in the donor’s arm, stem cells are filtered out, then the blood is returned to the donor.

via About sickle cell disease and cure – MLive.com.

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