EFFECTS OF SICKLE CELL ANEMIA ON THE NERVOUS SYSTEM
Sickle Cell Anemia does not have a real direct on the nervous system because the sickle cells are in the blood, not the nerve cells. The biggest effect of SCA on the nervous system damages the most important organ in the body; the brain. A Ischemic Stroke is when a blood vessel in the brain becomes blocked, leaving that part of the brain without oxygen. Due to the sickle shape of the sickled red blood cells, it makes it easier for blood clots to form. If a blood clot forms in an artery in the brain, a stroke can occur. Symptoms of stroke include, but are not limited to; weakness or numbness in your limbs, loss of consciousness, or difficulty speaking. If on experiences these symptoms, he/she should get medical attention immediately because stroke can be fatal.
Strokes can occur very often, and SCA patients must always be aware of the risks.
The diagram above shows how an Ischemic Stroke occurs.
SCA also has psychological effects. People with sickle cell anemia usually have limitations in physical activity. This means that SCA patients live limited lives, decreasing their overall value of life. The chronic pain, crises, strokes, constant fatigue, other symptoms cause the patient to build up stress and anxiety. This often leads to emotional disorders such as chronic depression, and anxiety.
The photo above shows sickle cell patients compared with the average population. It is clear that SCA patients show decreased levels in all of the categories. These decreased levels of vitality, mental health and social functioning can lead to psychological damage.
|Brian Oh|Biology 2|Final Project|5/30/2013|