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Question:
I would like to know what Hemophilia is and what it has to do with genetics. How is this problem curbed or taken care of?



Replies:
Hemophilia is a genetic disorder in which the normal blood clotting process is disrupted. Although there are many variations, the most common involve genes found on the X chromosome. This means that boys are more likely to have the disease than girls, since boys only have one X chromosome. If that one happens to have the "bad" gene, then there isn't another "good" copy of the gene there to operate. Children with hemophilia often bleed, especially internally, and this can be very painful to life-threatening. Treatment involves injections with the missing clotting factor. These injections can be very expensive, often costing the family $1000 or more each month. The severity of the disease varies from person to person, even within the same family. Many hemophiliacs are able to live fairly normal lives. Others live very painful and limited lives because of the severity of their disease. Let me know if you'd like more information. You can also call your local chapter of the Hemophilia Foundation.

Ellen Mayo



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