Nav: Home

Athletes with sickle cell traits are at more risk to collapse: here's why

May 09, 2019

TAMPA, Fla. (May 9, 2019)- A recent study published in Southern Medical Journal, led by researchers from the University of South Florida identifies a genetic variation known to affect sickle cell disease symptomology. This finding may explain why some collegiate football players with sickle cell trait (SCT) experience adverse clinical outcomes during periods of extreme physical exertion and others do not.

This double-blind study is the first of its kind to test the hypothesis that genetic markers associated with the production of fetal hemoglobin are associated with symptom variation in a sample of collegiate football players. Results also showed that there are significant associations between symptomology and player body mass index (BMI), and weight and symptomology.

The study research team, which includes Arizona State University, genotyped collegiate athletes with SCT for single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) previously shown to affect levels of fetal hemoglobin and asked the athletes to complete a survey about the presence of symptoms associated with exercise collapse associated with sickle cell trait, and to compare themselves with their peers without SCT.

"We know of at least 22 sickle cell trait athletes that have died due to complications associated with their 'benign' condition. These individuals were young and in excellent health," said Lorena Madrigal, Ph.D., Professor of Anthropology at University of South Florida. "The results of this study show significant associations between SNPs and symptoms, and between one SNP and greater body weight and body mass index. It is our hope that this information will provide parents, coaching and medical staff a better understanding of the more complex interactions among the sickle cell gene and the modifiers that affect it."

Clinicians have known that sickle cell disease patients differ in their clinical symptomology. They also know that better outcomes are due to higher levels of fetal hemoglobin. These study results demonstrate the same to be true for sickle cell trait individuals, particularly for football players. Additional testing on larger sample of athletes is planned for the future.
-end-


University of South Florida (USF Innovation)

Related Genetic Variation Articles:

Genetic variation gives mussels a chance to adapt to climate change
Existing genetic variation in natural populations of Mediterranean mussels allows them to adapt to declining pH levels in seawater caused by carbon emissions.
A genetic tug-of-war between the sexes begets variation
In species with sexual reproduction, no two individuals are alike and scientists have long struggled to understand why there is so much genetic variation.
Scientists identify genetic variation linked to severity of ALS
A discovery made several years ago in a lab researching asthma at Wake Forest School of Medicine may now have implications for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a disease with no known cure and only two FDA-approved drugs to treat its progression and severity.
Genetic variation contributes to individual differences in pleasure
Differences in how our brains respond when we're anticipating a financial reward are due, in part, to genetic differences, according to research with identical and fraternal twins published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
Genetic variation linked to response to anxiety could inform personalised therapies
A new study in marmoset monkeys suggests that individual variation in genes alters our ability to regulate emotions, providing new insights that could help in the development of personalised therapies to tackle anxiety and depression.
Old for new, using ancient genetic variation to supercharge wheat
A global, collaborative effort led by the Earlham Institute, UK and CIMMYT, Mexico sheds light on the genetic basis of biomass accumulation and efficiency in use of light, both of which are bottlenecks in yield improvement in wheat.
How hot spots of genetic variation evolved in human DNA
New research investigates hot spots of genetic variation within the human genome, examining the sections of our DNA that are most likely to differ significantly from one person to another.
Broad genetic variation on the Pontic-Caspian Steppe
The genetic variation within the Scythian nomad group is so broad that it must be explained with the group assimilating people it came in contact with.
Genetic variation may increase risk of liver damage in patients with chronic hepatitis B
A new study has shown that genetic variation may increase the risk of severe liver damage in Caucasians with chronic hepatitis B infection.
UCI scientists identify hidden genetic variation that helps drive evolution
Identifying complex mutations in the structure of an organism's genome has been difficult.
More Genetic Variation News and Genetic Variation Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Teaching For Better Humans 2.0
More than test scores or good grades–what do kids need for the future? This hour, TED speakers explore how to help children grow into better humans, both during and after this time of crisis. Guests include educators Richard Culatta and Liz Kleinrock, psychologist Thomas Curran, and writer Jacqueline Woodson.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#556 The Power of Friendship
It's 2020 and times are tough. Maybe some of us are learning about social distancing the hard way. Maybe we just are all a little anxious. No matter what, we could probably use a friend. But what is a friend, exactly? And why do we need them so much? This week host Bethany Brookshire speaks with Lydia Denworth, author of the new book "Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life's Fundamental Bond". This episode is hosted by Bethany Brookshire, science writer from Science News.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Space
One of the most consistent questions we get at the show is from parents who want to know which episodes are kid-friendly and which aren't. So today, we're releasing a separate feed, Radiolab for Kids. To kick it off, we're rerunning an all-time favorite episode: Space. In the 60's, space exploration was an American obsession. This hour, we chart the path from romance to increasing cynicism. We begin with Ann Druyan, widow of Carl Sagan, with a story about the Voyager expedition, true love, and a golden record that travels through space. And astrophysicist Neil de Grasse Tyson explains the Coepernican Principle, and just how insignificant we are. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.