4 alpha genes... It is a bit complicated given that there are 4 Alpha chain genes and Alpha thalassemia can involve mutations in one, two (in two different ways) or three genes (mutations in four genes is usually not compatible with life). For excellent website, see: http://www. Stjude. Org/stjude/v/index. Jsp? Vgnextoid=d966885309c6f110vgnvcm1000001e0215acrcrd.
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 hemoglobin for new red blood cells. Mom and/or dad can carry the mutations. A child can inherit a mutation from mom, from dad, or from both mom and dad.