A 48-year-old member asked:
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how was alpha thalassemia named?

2 doctor answers
Dr. Joseph Torkildson
39 years experience Pediatric Hematology and Oncology
Conventional: As scientists investigated hemoglobin, the complicated compound in red blood cells that carries oxygen, they learned that it was made up of 5 parts; 4 of these are 2 copies each of 2 different proteins. They named these Alpha chains and beta chains. If you inherit a condition where the Alpha chains are produced in smaller amounts than normal, you have Alpha thalassemia.
Answered on Nov 8, 2014
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1 thank
Dr. Louis Cooper
48 years experience Pediatrics
Thanks: Alpha thalassemia is named for decreased alpha chains and beta thal is named for decreased beta chains. Usually normal blood is made of two alpha and two beta chains--these make up hemoglobin.
Answered on Aug 10, 2014

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A female asked:
Dr. Gurmukh Singh
49 years experience Pathology
Depends: There are four grades of severity of alpha thalassemia. Lack of one or two genes would not affect the life span. Lack of three genes may alter health ... Read More
A 39-year-old member asked:
Dr. Robert Kwok
33 years experience Pediatrics
Not quite: People normally have 4 Alpha globulin genes. A mutation in 1, 2, 3, or all 4 genes leads to the 4 levels of Alpha thalassemia. The genetics of the dis ... Read More
A 43-year-old member asked:
Dr. James Ball
19 years experience Pediatric Hematology and Oncology
Hemoglobin problem: Alpha thal is caused by mutations that effect the production of a part of the hemoglobin molecule (Alpha chain). There are 4 genes involved in this p ... Read More
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2 thanks
A 25-year-old member asked:
Dr. Robert Kwok
33 years experience Pediatrics
From Mom and/or Dad: Alpha thalassemia is caused by a mutation in one or more of the 4 genes that code for (holds the dna for) Alpha globulin, which is needed to make hemo ... Read More

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