Cursed by sickle cell: A single letter in one gene spells a lifetime of pain for 20 million people — but socioeconomic status affects outcomes

Credit: Yur4you/Depositphotos
Credit: Yur4you/Depositphotos

Sickle cell disease (SCD) causes red blood cells to assume a sickle shape and jam in capillaries, cutting off oxygen to lungs, brain, bones and other organs. Despite the single genetic origin of SCD, each person’s disease experience and even life expectancy depend upon where they live, and the social, physical and environmental factors they encounter.

Now, a new review published by Wiley in the journal Advanced Genetics proposes that it is not only possible and necessary to analyze all these influences to understand disparities in experience and treatment of this disease, but that this approach will advance understanding and healthcare for all diseases with a hereditary component. The research and this new perspective stems from review of existing research on SCD together with preliminary data collected by an international collaboration studying the relationships of sociodemographic, clinical, genetic, and environmental factors to pain among adults with SCD.

Follow the latest news and policy debates on agricultural biotech and biomedicine? Subscribe to our newsletter.

SCD is the first molecular disease and may become the first to have an approved molecular cure from gene editing. In the meantime, we must continue to scale up efforts to develop new tools and techniques for reducing and preventing complications in the millions of people worldwide suffering from SCD, most of whom are unlikely to have immediate access to high-tech cures when they become available.

ADVERTISEMENT

Read the original post

Related article:  Market for CRISPR-edited crops will be limited by hazy global regulatory environment and societal ambivalence
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
GLP Podcasts
Infographic: Deaths from COVID-19 are far higher than reported estimates

Infographic: Deaths from COVID-19 are far higher than reported estimates

More than 2.8 million people have lost their lives due to the pandemic, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend