SICKLE CELL ANAEMIA (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Sci and Tech)

News-CRUX-10     4th June 2024        
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Context: The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has invited Expressions of Interest (EoI) from eligible organisations for the “joint development and commercialisation” of low dose or paediatric oral formulation of hydroxyurea to treat sickle cell disease in India.

Sickle Cell Anaemia

  • About: It is one of a group of inherited disorders known as sickle cell disease.

oIt affects the shape of red blood cells, which carry oxygen to all parts of the body.

oIn sickle cell anaemia, some red blood cells are shaped like sickles or crescent moons. 

oThese sickle cells also become rigid and sticky, which can slow or block blood flow.

  • Cause: It is caused by a change in the gene that tells the body to make the iron-rich compound in red blood cells called haemoglobin.
  • Symptoms: Extreme tiredness or irritability due to anaemia, painful swelling of hands and feet, and jaundice in the early stages.

oIn later stages, individuals may experience severe pain, anaemia, organ damage, and increased susceptibility to infections.

  • Treatment: Blood transfusions alleviate anaemia and lower pain crisis risk.

oHydroxyurea reduces pain frequency and prevents long-term complications; transplantation is an option too.

Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)

  • About: It the apex body in India for the formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research, is one of the oldest medical research bodies in the world.
  • Headquarter: New Delhi