Sickle Cell Disease News and commentary: Week One
By Sean Marshall
This is The Sickle In Me’s officail news blog. This blog will give weekly updates on all sickle cell disease related news and upcoming breakthroughs in medical treatments. If it relates to sickle cell disease and has surfaced in the media this blog will be here to summarises, securitize and keep readers informed.
This week’s top news story comes from an article found on Minnesota Today website. The article itself has outlined that the University of Minnesota where a group of researchers are testing the effects of medical marijuana for the treatment of chronic pain associated with sickle cell disease.
However the testing on human patients is illegal in the state of Minnesota due to the laws regarding marijuana. This means the research team as well as the human test subjects must relocate to California were the use of medical marijuana is legal.
The reason this is so big is that one of the main symptoms of sickle cell disease is fatigue and pain. These two issues are often treated with opiates such as morphine which is highly addictive and causes further problems later in life. According to pain expert Donald Simone explains morphine and other pain killers are "problematic" Other officials have commented that there isn’t an accurate measurement of pain causing many patients to receive incorrect dosages of drugs.
According to recent media coverage the recent findings have many ramifications. If the testing is proven a success then according then individuals suffering from sickle cell disease could qualify for medical cannabis. This would but people who suffer from sickle cell with the likes of cancer patients and those who have HIV/AIDS. The use of medical marijuana has been proven in mice to relive the pain more effective then morphine and generally has far less addictive properties.
The tests are not finished yet but researchers are staying optimistic. Ultimately the study itself has shed light on the suffering of those who have sickle cell anemia. This would then lead to more legitimacy and recognition of sickle cell disease and that is defiantly a good thing.
There is a link to the original article below for further elaboration. Feel free to leave any comments questions or concerns in the comments section below.
Link to article:
Other big news for sickle cell awareness is the astonishing statistics out of Nigeria. According to Codewit World News 150,000 babies are born with sickle cell yearly in the country of Nigeria. The Sickle Cell Foundation Nigeria or SCFN for short has reported that Nigeria has the highest number of sickle cell disorder in the world with 150,000 new births every year.
If Codewit World News is accurate then this is proof that sickle cell disease has to be thrust in the public eye. The article goes on to say that "Out of the 500,000 children born with a haemoglobin disorder in Nigeria, 70 per cent of them are born with sickle cell disease."
It also explains that factors like ignorance, lack of access to proper healthcare and poverty is causing "80 per cent of children with sickle cell disease to die each year."
The article ended by explaining that the more media coverage the disease gets the easier it will be for people to understand and combat sickle cell disease.
This problem may be going on halfway across the world but it is an important example of what is going on right here in Canada. The lack of education on how a person contracts sickle cell disease and how to properly treat it are all issues that this country struggles with. The only difference is that there are more wide scale outbreaks in Nigeria as of this moment then in Canada.
Again if there are any concerns questions or even ideas for later topics feel free to comment in the section below.
Link to article:
This section is solely to let our Sickle Soldiers tell their story trials & tribulations alongside things they feel are wrong in the Sickle Cell Community