Anaemia is a condition in which the number of the red blood cells (RBCs) is insufficient to meet the physiological needs. These erythrocytes contain the hemoglobin, which carries the oxygen throughout the body. Therefore, having a balanced diet, including such elements as iron, vitamin B12, folate, and minerals, can help in boosting the RBC production (Malboram et al. 191). This disease affects the people of all races and ages. However, it is common in the young women because of the increased iron demands and menstrual blood losses. For instance, diamond-blackfan anemia (DBA) is associated with the bone marrow failure disorders. The illness can be successfully treated with the proper medications, including corticosteroids and chronic transfusions. Many people are living with the ailment and have survived well into their adulthood.
The Prehistoric Human Skeletal
The prehistoric human skeletal remains were discovered to have numerous small holes in the outer bony layers of the skulls. This porotic hyperostosis condition was widespread in several areas, such as North America. This phenomenon was attributed to the fact that the locals regularly eat maize, which was regarded as a poor source of absorbable iron (Narla et al. 121). This shortcoming led to the thinning of the outer table of their skulls in their parietal bones. More so, the details of the abnormal chemical structures, which affected the red blood cells in the patients with anemia, were detected in 1970. Later on, the physicians and scientists discovered the new ways of treating the disease. Therefore, the ancient people were affected by iron deficiency anemia (IDA) because of unbalanced diet.
How Anemia was Treated
Metoclopramide was the treatment for diamond-blackfan anemia (DBA). This drug induces the prolactin release, which helps to stimulate the erythropoiesis. The results were discovered after the DBA patient who had pure red cell aplasia (PRCA) got better during her pregnancy (Narla et al. 120). According to the researchers, the female did not respond to the medication, which had the methylprednisolone compounds (the standard and high doses). However, some of the side effects included headaches, hyperprolactinemia, and fatigue. Unfortunately, the hyperprolactinemia can lead to breast cancer in both the pre-and post-menopausal women. More so, the person who was suffering from DBA refractory was treated with the metoclopramide therapy (Malboram et al. 191). As a result, the patient’s hemoglobin and hematocrit levels increased. Therefore, the metoclopramide therapy should be administered to the persons with diamond-blackfan anemia to avoid the major health complications.
The Theory behind the Mechanism of Actions of the Treatments
Diamond-blackfan anemia is characterized as a disorder of the abnormal erythropoiesis. According to Narla et al., “It is a rare entity in which the subnormal erythropoiesis produces a gradual but profound anemia”. Hence, most of the earliest treatments were aimed at directly stimulating the erythropoiesis, which produces the red blood cells. For example, the erythropoietin was given to ten patients; however, one of them did not show the signs of improvement (Narla et al. 120). The physicians used the erythropoietin therapy since it could stimulate the erythropoiesis. Therefore, the drug is an effective treatment option for the sufferers of diamond-blackfan anemia because it helps in boosting their RBC production.
The Current Status
Corticosteroids can help to enhance the red blood cells in the patients with diamond blackfan anemia. In particular, about 80% of the individuals who have taken the medication responded well to the steroids. Their hemoglobin levels increased within two to four weeks after consuming the drug at a dose of 2 mg/kg/day (Fumani et al. 2). The likelihood of the patients entering the remission is common. However, the side effects of being on the corticosteroids therapies are high blood pressure, increased hunger, upset stomach, pneumonia, trouble sleeping, and acne. Thus, the corticosteroids methodologies are efficacious for treating diamond blackfan anemia since 80% of the people witnessed the health-boosting benefits after using them.
Blood transfusions can be used to treat diamond blackfan anemia. This procedure is best suited for managing the serious symptoms or the patients who do not respond to the corticosteroids remedies (Narla et al. 120). In most cases, the individuals need one unit of the blood, which may cost them up to $300. Therefore, patients can be cured of diamond blackfan anemia as a result of having a blood transfusion.
Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT)
Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is prescribed for the people with fanconi anemia (FA). To prove this analogy, twenty FA patients went through the HSCT therapy between 2002 and 2015. Specifically, the analysis report revealed the overall 5-year survival of 50-55% and 13-year survival of 44-47% among the individuals (Fumani et al. 1). Hence, the people with the progressive bone marrow failure should undergo the hematopoietic stem cell transplants to be cured.
Overall, since its original description decades ago, many therapies have been used with the inconsistent success to treat diamond blackfan anemia. However, the physicians and scientists discovered that the disease could be treated using the corticosteroid, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, and blood transfusion therapies. They recommend that their patients should utilize the corticosteroids mode of the treatment because they are more powerful than the other types of the remedies.
Fumani, Hosein, et al. “Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation for Adult Patients with Fanconi Anemia.” Mediterranean Journal of Hematology and Infectious Diseases, vol. 8, no. 1, 2016, pp. 44-78. doi: 10.4084/MJHID.2016.054
Malboram, Baris, et al. “Successful Treatment of Refractory Diamond-Blackfan Anemia Using Metoclopramide and Prednisolone.” Turkish Journal of Hematology, vol. 29, no. 2, 2012, pp. 191-192. doi: 10.5505/tjh.2012.80008
Narla, Anupama, et al. “Diamond Blackfan-Anemia Treatment: Past, Present, and Future.” PubMed Central, vol. 48, no. 2, 2011, pp. 117-123. doi: 10.1053/j.seminhematol.2011.01.004