FAQ - Thalassemia
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Hey does anybody know who discovered thalassemia, when, and how long has it been known for. Thanks!

eMedicine says:

In 1925, Thomas Cooley, a Detroit pediatrician, described a severe type of anemia in children of Italian origin. He noted abundant nucleated red blood cells (RBCs) in the peripheral blood, which he initially thought was erythroblastic anemia, an entity that von Jaksh described earlier. Before long, Cooley realized that erythroblastemia is neither specific nor essential in this disorder and that the term erythroblastic anemia was nothing but a diagnostic catchall. Although Cooley was aware of the genetic nature of the disorder, he failed to investigate the apparently healthy parents of the affected children.

In Europe, Riette described Italian children with unexplained mild hypochromic and microcytic anemia in the same year Cooley reported the severe form of anemia later named after him. In addition, Wintrobe and coworkers in the United States reported a mild anemia in both parents of a child with Cooley anemia. This anemia was similar to the one that Riette described in Italy. Only then was Cooley's severe anemia recognized as the homozygous form of the mild hypochromic and microcytic anemia that Riette and Wintrobe described. This severe form was then labeled as thalassemia major and the mild form as thalassemia minor. The word thalassemia is a Greek term derived from thalassa, which means "the sea" (referring to the Mediterranean), and emia, which means "related to blood."  (+ info)


Hi, I'm wondering if thalassemia will limit my future. I'm almostly completely sure I have it. It's heavy in my family to include my father and sister. I play sports constantly. I'm a wrestler, so I constantly condition. Every time I play basketball or football, I'm always holding my knees breathing heavily (quick into the game) while my friends are fine. Most of these guys never work out or condition like I do. After college, I plan to enter the military in the special operations/operator route. If I do get my blood tested and it turns out positive, will this limit my career? I can do it even if it is extremely harder for me, but I just want a fair chance. If I do get tested, is there any positives to it? treatment/cure?

-Thank you

very complicated. Genetic testing of any form can have far reaching effects. for example, if you are tested and found positive, does this limit your life/health insurance as you will then need to disclose this.
In regards to the military, make an appoitment with recruitment and ask the question.these days many conditions are not excluded as they once were.
the link is a great resource that helps you answer the cure side of things. good luck  (+ info)

Are there any symptoms associated with Thalassemia Minor?

Also can anyone tell me if it's true that Thalassemia Minor usually coexists with other things like asthma and mood disorders? Thanks!

You know what...i really don't know, but i can tell you that i have thalassemia minor as well as asthma and ALSO suffer from depression/panic disorder. That's a wierd coincidence if it's not related, but i have never heard that it was.  (+ info)

What is the difference between anemia and thalassemia?

I have Thalassemia and I never understood what the difference was between those too, does anyone know?

Well, in the beginning it might look the same, then iron is started
and the hemoglobin does not rise as it is supposed to, then Thalassemia
minor would be a possible cause.

To confirm suspicions a special more expensive test is needed (Hemoglobin electrophoresis), which separates the 4 parts of the hemoglobin on a piece of paper , and see what hemoglobin types he has and what percentage.

Basically it presents like an iron deficiency anemia (same
lab parameters), and the hemoglobin fails to rise with iron treatment,
and there tends to be a family history.

Iron will not be needed , because the stores are ok , actually
more iron than needed can be dangerous to the liver and other

Those with minor thalassemia might require blood transfusion
only when there are certain conditions (like have surgery,
or giving birth or getting a severe infection)

The amount of symptoms present is proportionate to
the amount of sane hemoglobin produced.

Hope this helps.....  (+ info)

Is it necessary to pamper a boy suffering from thalassemia minor?

My student has thalassemia minor. He is 14 years old and is very mischievous. His parents rarely correct him and always make excuses for his faults. When I asked the parents to discipline him, they told me that they cannot be strict with him because he has thalassemia minor. He doesn't seem to be having any symptoms and his blood count is normal.

So are the parents right, or is the boy just spoilt?

They are making excuses for him. I've had Alpha Thalassemia Minor (obviously) my whole life. The biggest problem I have is fatigue, but that's getting better since I've been on folic acid. Being mischievous has nothing to do with thalassemia at all, and disciplining him would have no different effect than disciplining a child without thalassemia. They're absolutely just making excuses for him and he sounds very spoiled.

And Thalassemia Minor is only sometimes treated, and if it is, it's treated in minor ways (such as Folic Acid), but they don't even get blood transfusions like some people with Thalassemia Major would have. I had no treatment as a child and began taking Folic Acid when I was 21. I had no problems as a child and neither did my sister who has it as well. She's never had any treatment for it.  (+ info)

Should you get the H1N1 Vaccine if you have alpha beta thalassemia minor?

If your child has alpha beta thalassemia minor should you get them the H1N1 vaccine? Would actually getting swine flu be worse than the possible side effects of the vaccine? I have heard of children dying from the swine flu but I think most of them had other health problems, which is why I ask these questions. Because my kids have alpha beta thalassemia minor what is worse the flu or the vaccine. I would rather not vaccinate them but I need to be sure they are not at risk.

The CDC's own web site readily admits that since August 30, 2009 they are no longer testing for H1N1. They don't even recommend it any more. They are substituting a clinical definition for blood testing that will positively confirm that the "suspected" cases of H1N1 influenza are actually H1N1 influenza.

They've even coined what appears to be a whole new term: "ILI," which stands for "influenza-like illness."  (+ info)

will i definitely inherit the thalassemia trait from my mother?

my mother has the thalassemia trait and hardly has any problems except she is a bit anaemic. and my dad doesn't have the trait at all. will i definitely have the thalassemia trait as well? or will my blood be normal?

No. If one parent carries a Thalassemia Trait and the other parent has normal hemoglobin, there is no chance that the child will inherit a blood disease. However, there is a 25% chance that the child will inherit the Thalassemia Trait.  (+ info)

Can somebody with perfectly normal mcv have thalassemia minor?

Are more tests necessary to diagnose thalassemia minor when MCV level is normal?

It is possible to have a normal MCV with thalassaemia minor because compared to thalassaemia major, only some of the body's haemoglobin (the substance in red blood cells) is affected.

The good thing to know is that if your haemoglobin (Hb) level and MCV (Mean corpuscular volume) are normal, even if you have thalassaemia minor there is little to be concerned about.

The diagnostic test for all of the thalassaemia's is haemoglobin electroforesis. This separates out all the different types of haemoglobin in your blood and analyses them. If there is too much of any particular abnormal haemoglobin, this diagnoses thalassaemia.  (+ info)

Can anyone tell me anything about Thalassemia?

My son's pediatrician just called and said she needs to do more blood work, but that he may have Thalassemia. I've checked web MD but I want to know if anyone has first hand experince.

Thalassemia is an inherited disease of the red blood cells, classified as a hemoglobinopathy. The genetic defect results in synthesis of an abnormal hemoglobin molecule. The blood cells are vulnerable to mechanical injury and die easily. To survive, many people with thalassemia need blood transfusions at regular intervals.  (+ info)

What is the difference between thalassemia minor and thalassemia intermedia?

Is there some sort of threshold with respect to one's CBC?

There are a few classifications of Thalassemia and included are minor, intermedia and major and alpha and beta Thalassemias. Like their names suggest, minor and major are at the opposites ends of the spectrum. Minor may be asymptomatic or have mild symptoms and major usually requires blood transfusions and carries serious complications. Intermedia falls in between the two and involves moderate anemia that may go unnoticed or that may require blood transfusion at some point in time.

There is a difference in the CBCs of minor and intermedia but hemoglobin electrophoresis, ferritin studies, TIBC, serum iron and red cell folate may also be measured to determine the degree of anemia and to diferentiate between the types.  (+ info)

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