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African american patient in pain with female nurse
Pain is one of the unfortunate hallmarks of sickle cell disease, often growing in intensity as patients age. It is a leading cause of emergency room visits and hospitalizations among people with the disease, and the frequency of those pain-related hospital admissions is a strong predictor of premature death. Researchers have tried for years to find...
Nkechinyem (Nke) Nwabuzor
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Research Feature
They ranged in age from 15 to 61—four African American women, all with stories to tell about their struggles with sickle cell disease, all with stories about a common experience that helped them through those struggles: participating in clinical trials. It mattered, said the women, all of whom had joined trials funded by the National Institutes of...
Microscopic view of sickle, and normal blood cells.
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Research Feature
The notion of altering a person’s genes to cure disease used to be the stuff of science fiction. But gene editing experiments aimed at the genetic disorder that causes sickle cell disease are now making their way from the laboratory to clinical trials. And researchers supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) are hoping tho...
Dr. Wally Smith  a professor of sickle cell disease at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond
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Research Feature
As the country struggles with the devastating opioid crisis, researchers say it could have dire consequences for one population with few pain-relieving alternatives: people living with sickle cell disease. The increasingly tight restrictions on opioid access, they say, is stirring fears that patients will face greater scrutiny than they already do...
Sickle cell patient.
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Research Feature
Jennifer Nsenkyire (pronounced ‘century’) has suffered from sickle cell disease for as long as she can remember. As a teenager growing up in her native Ghana, she endured the excruciating pain caused by the condition sometimes for days at a time. At least once a month she had to be hospitalized, and blood transfusions came at a steady, troubling pa...
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News Release
A sickle cell anemia study has found that the drug hydroxyurea is as effective as blood transfusions in children to reduce blood flow velocities in the brain, which is a key risk factor for stroke. The findings appear in The Lancet and were presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology. Some children living with sickle cell...