About the Site
This website features information on what sickle cell anemia is, who it affects, current treatments for the disease, and what research scientists are doing to find a cure.
About Sickle Cell Anemia
Sickle cell anemia is a serious genetically inherited blood disorder which affects hemoglobin, the oxygen-transport molecule in red blood cells. Due to a miscoding of a single letter of the DNA, the hemoglobin protein is folded abnormally. The body, in turn, produces crescent-shaped red blood cells rather than the normal doughnut-shaped red blood cells. Crescent, or “sickle” shaped, cells do not move easily through the blood vessels. Because they are stiff and sticky, these cells often clump together and form blockages in the vessels. These blockages deprive many parts of the body of oxygen which causes severe pain, serious infections, and even organ damage. Sickle cell anemia is the most common inherited blood disorder in the United States. Approximately 72,000 Americans suffer from sickle cell anemia while about 2 million people in the US are carriers for the disease.