What is Thalassemia
Thalassemia("thal-uh-SEE-mee-uh") is a severe and particular form of anemia in which the body does not produce enough healthy red cells. It is these cells which carry oxygen from the lungs to all parts of the body. Therefore, a shortage of these cells means that the body is deprived of oxygen.The severity of the disease can vary from one individual to another, depending on a number of reasons.
There is a theory that because the thalassemia trait has some resistance to malaria, the disease has evolved in regions where malaria is prevalent.
The two main types of thalassemia are called alpha and beta thalassemia:
• Individuals with alpha thalassemia do not produce enough alpha globin.
• Those with beta thalassemia do not produce enough beta globin.
There are a number of different forms of alpha and beta thalassemias, with symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Thalassemia is among the most common genetic disorders worldwide.
Please see our Resources and Links for more detailed information on Thalassemia and the associations and foundations pioneering for a cure.