Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers developing blood test to improve diagnosis of sickle cell disease in babies

Date:
September 6, 2011
Source:
Action Medical Research
Summary:
A new blood test being developed by researchers in the UK could, for the first time, help identify babies at risk of a severe form of sickle cell disease, allowing immediate and more intensive treatment to be given.

A new blood test being developed by researchers in Cambridge and Oxford could, for the first time, help identify babies at risk of a severe form of sickle cell disease, allowing immediate and more intensive treatment to be given, thanks to a grant from children's charity Action Medical Research.

Related Articles


Over 12,000 people in the UK have sickle cell disease -- the UK's most common severe genetic disorder. An estimated 20 million people are affected worldwide. Symptoms usually start early -- in babies who are just six to nine months old.

Children with sickle cell disease face a lifetime of ill health. They have attacks of intense pain -- called crises -- which can last several days. They are prone to infections and anemia, which can be life-threatening. They are at risk of a variety of complications, including organ failure, strokes and leg ulcers, and they have a shortened life expectancy.

Project leader, Dr John Gibson from the University of Cambridge, said: "Currently, the most reliable diagnostic tests for sickle cell disease are complicated, requiring skilled technicians and sophisticated, expensive equipment. The tests are time consuming and are often not useful in an emergency situation.

"What's more, none of the existing tests can predict how severe a baby's illness is likely to be. Babies who are at risk of the most severe symptoms, who might benefit greatly from early and intensive treatment, cannot be easily identified before they become poorly.

"Babies with the disease have abnormal red blood cells. The test works by detecting these cells. It involves mixing a blood sample with a special sugar solution in low oxygen. Red blood cells from a baby who has sickle cell disease burst in the liquid, which becomes pink. Cells from a healthy baby do not burst, and the liquid stays clear. The aim of this project is to perfect the diagnostic test, so it can be used routinely at the bedside," he said.

The project team includes Dr John Gibson, Professor Clive Ellory, from the University of Oxford and Dr David Rees of King's College Hospital, London. Around 120 children and adults with sickle cell disease who attend clinics at Kings are donating blood samples for use in this research.

Dr Alexandra Dedman, Senior Research Evaluation Manager, at Action Medical Research said: "The researchers are hoping the new test could be simpler, cheaper and easy to distribute and more children in developing countries might therefore have access to testing -- in some parts of Africa the disease is particularly common, with up to one in 60 babies being affected.

"The new test could give faster results, making it suitable for use in emergencies. If children need emergency surgery, for example, it is important to know whether they have sickle cell disease," she added.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Action Medical Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Action Medical Research. "Researchers developing blood test to improve diagnosis of sickle cell disease in babies." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110906085149.htm>.
Action Medical Research. (2011, September 6). Researchers developing blood test to improve diagnosis of sickle cell disease in babies. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110906085149.htm
Action Medical Research. "Researchers developing blood test to improve diagnosis of sickle cell disease in babies." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110906085149.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins