Sickle-cell disease contributes to cognitive impairment in children
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An examination of how sickle-cell disease contributes to cognitive impairment in children. The definition, classification, and pathophysiology of sickle-cell disease is discussed to support the cognitive impairment seen within children with sickle-cell disease. The quality of life that children with sickle cell experience is also discussed as it plays a role in how children with sickle cell experience the disease. Therapeutic measures are also examined to discuss the possible interventions that can be taken to aide children with sickle cell manage the disease. After careful research, it is concluded that four factors directly cause compromised neurological function in children with sickle-cell disease; (1) recurrent micro infarction of the central nervous system; (2) chronic hypoxic damage to the brain or diminished pulmonary function; (3) sub-acute brain damage that occurred during bouts of hypoxia associated with events such as aplastic crisis, acute chest syndrome, and obstructive sleep apnea; and (4) chronic nutritional deficiency associated with increased metabolic demands. The therapeutic interventions that are discussed to aid in the management of sickle-cell disease are inhibition of hemoglobin S polymerization and reduction of the intracellular hemoglobin concentration.