What causes the red blood cells in sickle cell disease to bend? Name the drug used to activate production of a form of hemoglobin.

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Darling Divaa Profile
Darling Divaa answered

It's a genetic mutation of the red blood cells that cause them to "bend."  The cells are shaped like a sickle, hence the name sickle cell. These cells because of their shape clog capillaries and prevent flow causing poor circulation and a higher risk of stroke, organ damage and bacterial infections. The only real known drug at this time for sickle cell is Hydroxyurea which also carries a lot of side effects with it. However it does not "cure" sickle cell. The FDA as of October 2014 is in early and late stage clinical trials to hopefully market a better working drug for this awful disease.

John McCann Profile
John McCann answered

Technically speaking it is the polymerization of deoxyhemoglobin S  into rod like structures that act as gels, bending and twisting the red blood cell into a sickle shape. Thusly travel through capillaries becomes difficult and leads to clogging.

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