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Thalassemia - anybody knowledgeable or good at genetics about?

(5 Posts)
slightlyonedgemum Fri 12-Jun-09 15:00:06

I was told by my doctor that I have beta-thalassemia trait. It was assumed it had come from my father (non-English from a major thalassemia country). My father's doctor told him yesterday he has alpha-thalassemia trait. Is that possible?! Slightly confused that he can have a different version of a hereditary illness to me! Plus, waiting for doctors appointment to check DH doesn't have it before we TTC. Am now considering telling my new doctor (who is DH's) that my old doctor was crazy and I don't trust his judgement!

frAKKINPannikin Fri 12-Jun-09 15:28:43

www.sickle-thalassaemia.org is probably your best bet.

Basically on the haemoglobin gene there are two parts - the beta part and the alpha part. 'Normal' people have bb AAAA with the letters in bold inherited from one parent and the others from the other

A beta trait person will have bb AAAA
Someone with beta thalassaemia will have b b AAAA

An alpha trait person will have bb -AAA (I think this is Alpha plus) or bb -A-A (Alpha zero). Or possibly the other way around.
Alpha major people are unable to make Hb and look like this bb ----

The italics etc aren't standard notation by the way, they're just an easy visual way to represent the impact of a trait

frAKKINPannikin Fri 12-Jun-09 15:29:54

Basically that was a really complicated way to say it's possible to have both.

slightlyonedgemum Fri 12-Jun-09 16:37:04

Excellent thanks-that does make sense!!

I couldn't work out how Dad could be told he's got alpha trait when I've got beta trait and we know/think it came from him. But maybe his beta is a little dodgy too...

Hopefully this time next week we'll have seen DH's doctor in which case we should be about to find out if he has it too. Otherwise we're fine and never have to think about thalassemia again (apart from if the doctor tells me I'm anaemic again)...

EldonAve Fri 12-Jun-09 17:14:12

more info here

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