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The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) as a genetic condition of a group of inherited red blood cell disorders. Normally, healthy blood cells are round and carry oxygen through small blood vessels throughout the human body. When a person has sickle cell disease, the red blood cells form a C-shaped similar to a “sickle” farm tool. This unusual shape causes the red blood cells to get stuck in the vessels and clog the blood flow.
As a genetic condition, SCD is diagnosed with a simple blood test. The “sickle” shape of the cell can be identified under a microscope. It is often diagnosed during routine newborn screen tests and can be detected prior to childbirth. In the United States, sickle cell disease affects an estimated 90,000 to 100,000 people, the majority of whom are African Americans.
The sickling is associated with low oxygen and blood flow levels, along with an increased amount of acidity. These conditions cause those who have sickle cell disease to face the following symptoms: injury to the body’s tissues, dehydration, or anesthesia.
Currently, the only cure for sickle cell disease is bone marrow or stem cell transplant. People who suffer from this condition can live full lives, but it is important to learn how to stay as healthy and monitor the condition with your medical care team. Clinical trials help advance the search for better treatments of sickle cell disease for those who currently live with it and for future generations who will inherit it.
The Atlanta Center for Medical Research was founded in 1982 by Dr. Robert A. Riesenberg and is now one of the largest and most respected medical research institutions in the country. ACMR’s 150,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art, open-source research facility is a game changer for the medical research world. ACMR’s practices set the standard for medical research, facilitating the availability of safe and effective medicine to people everywhere.
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