• Join Today!

Become a member and connect with:

  • An Active Online Community
  • Articles and Advice on SCD
  • Help Understanding Clinical Trials
patient education

Battling Bent Blood Cells: Progress in Sickle Cell Disease

key information

source: National Institutes of Health

year: 2020

summary/abstract:

With every beat of your heart, blood carries oxygen from your lungs throughout your body. This life-sustaining process happens automatically, whether you’re awake or asleep.

But for people with sickle cell disease, it often goes awry. People with this disease have an abnormal type of hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying molecule in red blood cells.

Normally, red blood cells are flexible and shaped like a disc. But the hemoglobin in people with sickle cell disease causes abnormally shaped red blood cells. Most commonly, they’re a crescent (or sickle) shape.

These inflexible, bent cells can stick to the blood vessel walls. The resulting clumps slow or stop the flow of blood. This may lead to pain and organ damage.

 

read more

expertly curated content related to this topic