The Genetic Disease: The Genetic Disease Sickle Cell Anemia

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The Genetic Disease Sickle Cell Anemia
Throughout evolutionary history, advances in molecular biology allow molecular biologist to discover new genetic diseases. Sickle cell anemia is an inherited blood disorder in which there is a single amino acid substitution, which alters the structure and function of the hemoglobin. Although one might think that this disease only affects the circulatory system it actually affects many of the body’s systems, disrupting its functional processes. People who have sickle cell anemia have different severity of symptoms. Some may have reoccurring sickness and trouble breathing while others would have a greater difficulty to breathe leading them to no longer survive. Not only is the anatomy
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This is most directly affected by the area in which these people live. Sickle cell anemia is not as wide spread as other diseases; people with sickle cell anemia tend to live in Africa, more specifically sub-Saharan Africa. This is because a certain strain of sickle cell leads to malaria resistance. Malaria is a disease that is transmitted by a species of female mosquito that first targets liver cells then red blood cells. When the parasites infect red blood cells they cause the blood cell to rupture and lyse. People who are heterozygous for sickle cell are able to live in these areas because they are immune to malaria. This is because the parasite is not able to attach itself properly to the red blood cell, thus it cannot reproduce. People who have one of the genes would still have an alteration to their red blood cell, but it would not be severe as having two genes. This alteration still causes the red blood cell to warp slightly and it is altered enough so the parasites are not able to reproduce. In retrospect, heterozygous would have a longer life span because individuals with two sickle cell genes would die from the complications of the disease. Individuals with no sickle cell genes would die from malaria. Therefore heterozygous are more evolutionarily fit to live in areas predominantly known for having malaria. 7, …show more content…
The most common symptom of sickle cell anemia is vasoocclusion. This is a side effect of having sickle cell anemia which results in a sudden course of pain than could last several hours or days. This is because of the shape of the red blood cells. They curve into a sickle shape which is more prone to get stuck within blood vessels causing a sharp pain. Another common symptom is having frequent shortness of breath. This is mainly caused by the lack of ability for the sickle red blood cell to efficiently carry oxygen. Since these cells generally carry less oxygen, more blood is needed than usual which is also why dizziness is a symptom. A physical symptom that may happen is the person is suffering from pallor. This unusually pain complexion is also due to the inefficient blood flow throughout the body. Robert J. Adams also did research in figuring out symptoms and health problems that arise with sickle cell. He observed that people that feel dizziness as a symptom are more likely to suffer from a stroke. Through various research studies he concluded, using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), that people who have sickle cell anemia are more prone to have cerebrovascular diseases such as a stroke. However, Mark T. Gladwin and et al have concluded that the most prominent symptom and reason people with sickle cell anemia die is because of heart pain. Most people who complain of this pain are hypertensive. This means

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