SICK S2 • E11

What Causes Sickle Cell...and How Are We Treating It?





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Published on Oct 15, 2019

Sickle cell disease got its name from mutated, misshapen red blood cells.
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Sickle cell was the first molecular disease ever and the disease was identified in Chicago in 1910.

Sickle cell disease is a group of inherited blood disorders. In fact, it's the most commonly inherited blood disorder in the world, affecting millions of people worldwide. Once upon a time sickle cell was almost impossible to live with but today, we know a lot more about it and it turns out, something as simple as H2O can help keep it in check.

Seeker sat down with Marsha Treadwell a clinical psychologist and scientists at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland, California. Treadwell has worked with the sickle cell community for nearly 20 years.

According to Treadwell, sickle cell disease, the disorder is related to the hemoglobin—the molecule in red blood cells that delivers oxygen to cells throughout the body. Atypical hemoglobin molecules called hemoglobin S distort red blood cells into that sickle or crescent shape.

When red blood cells—which are normally round, like balloons—take on the sickled or misshapen and rigid shape they also become sticky and cause damage throughout the body.

Sickle Cell is common all over the world, but there are populations that are more often affected, such as those originating from Africa, India, the Mediterranean, Middle East and South America.

Find out more about sickle cell, its 4 different forms, sickle cell symptoms, and a potential cure for the disease on this episode of SICK.

#SickleCell #Disease #Symptoms #Health #Seeker #Science #SICK
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SICK is a new series that looks at how diseases actually work inside our body. We'll be visiting medical centers and talking to top researchers and doctors to uncover the mysteries of viruses, bacteria, fungi and our own immune system. Come back every Tuesday for a new episode and let us know in the comments which diseases you think we should cover next.
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