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Differences in Brain Oxygen Supply May Explain Silent Strokes in SCD Patients

Brain oxygen supply is different in different regions of the brain of sickle cell disease (SCD) patients who are affected by anemia, which may explain the incidence of silent strokes, a recent study says.

The findings of the study, “White matter has impaired resting oxygen delivery in sickle cell patients,” were published in the American Journal of Hematology.

SCD is a rare genetic disorder caused by mutations in the HBB gene, which provides instructions to make hemoglobin, a protein responsible for blood oxygen transport. When a person carries two faulty copies of HBB, there is poor oxygen blood supply to all tissues and organs in the body. This also includes the brain, an organ for which shortage of oxygen, even for a few minutes, may cause extensive death of neurons.