Also known as thalassemia major .The clinical picture of this important type of anemia was first described in 1925 by the pediatrician Thomas Benton Cooley.. Other names for the disease are Cooley’s anemia and Mediterranean anemia. The name thalassemia was coined by the Nobel Prize winning pathologist George Whipple and the professor of pediatrics Wm Bradford at U. of Rochester because thalassa in Greek means the sea (like the Mediterranean Sea) + -emia means in the blood so thalassemia means sea in the blood. Thalassemia is not just one disease. It is a complex contingent of genetic (inherited) disorders all of which involve underproduction of hemoglobin, the indispensable molecule in red blood cells that carries oxygen. The globin part of normal adult hemoglobin is made up of 2 alpha and 2 beta polypeptide chains. In beta thalassemia, there is a mutation (change) in both beta globin chains leading to underproduction (or absence) of beta chains, underproduction of hemoglobin, and profound anemia. The gene for beta thalassemia is relatively frequent in people of Mediterranean origin (for example, from Italy and Greece). Children with this disease inherit one gene for it from each parent. The parents are carriers (heterozygotes) with just one thalassemia gene, are said to have thalassemia minor, and are essentially normal. Their children affected with beta thalassemia seem entirely normal at birth because at birth we still have predominantly fetal hemoglobin which does not contain beta chains. The anemia surfaces in the first few months after birth and becomes progressively more severe leading to pallor and easy fatiguability, failure to thrive (grow), bouts of fever (due to infections) and diarrhea. Treatment based on blood transfusions is helpful but not curative. Gene therapy will, it is hoped, be applicable to this disease.
- Thalassiosira pseudonana
An ocean diatom that is a major participant in the biological pumping of carbon to ocean depths and that has potential for mitigating global climate change. The DNA of this diatom is being sequenced.
- Thalidomide baby
An infant who is affected by prenatal exposure to the drug thalidomide. In 1998, thalidomide again became available to treat certain conditions, and there is concern that babies may be born with the thalidomide syndrome as they were in the 1950s and early 1960s.
A metallic element having the symbol Tl and the atomic number 81 and an atomic weight of about 204. Approximately 70% of thallium production is used in electronics with the remaining used in pharmaceuticals, optics, infrared detectors, and nuclear medicine. Thallium was historically used as rat poison and insecticides, however due to its nonselective toxicity, […]
- Thallium poisoning
Poisoning with the element thallium which enters the environment primarily from coal-burning and smelting. It stays in the air, water, and soil for a long time and is not broken down. It builds up in fish and shellfish. The major source of exposure to thallium for most people is eating food contaminated with thallium. Other […]
- Thallium scan
Stress exercise sestamibi scan — one exercises on a treadmill to stress the heart by making it go faster and more strongly ; or Adenosine sestamibi scan — one receives adenosine (or another medication) to similarly stress the heart. For more details, please see the entries to Stress exercise sestamibi scan and Adenosine sestamibi scan […]