Hemophilia Treatment

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History of Hemophilia Treatment

History of Hemophilia Treatment

History and Background

Although hemophilia has existed since ancient times, the majority of the advances in understanding the problem and its treatment have come within the past century. Here's a look at hemophilia's progression, from its earliest mention in the Talmud to modern day. The first written reference to hemophilia dates back to the 2nd century, when a rabbi wrote in the Babylonian Talmud: “If she circumcised her first child and he died, and a second one also died, she must not circumcise her third child” (Blanchette, 2008). Fast-forward one thousand years and Arab physician Albucasis became the first medical professional to describe the issue, writing in a medical text about a family in which the males died after a minor injury and suggesting cauterization as the best way to treat it. Hemophilia continued to be observed in texts for centuries, but it wasn't until the 1800s that doctors began to explore the science behind the problem. In 1803, Philadelphia doctor John Conrad Otto published a treatise about the “hemorrhagic disposition,” which he recognized as inherited and occurring in males. In 1828, it was first identified as “hemophilia,” a term used by University of Zurich student Friedrich Hopf.

To understand the cure one should first understand the cause. Hemophilia is an inherited condition caused by the presence of an extra X chromosome and this X chromosome stops the blood or reduces the body's ability to halt the bleeding. In normal people blood should clot and that is how bleeding is stopped and this is caused due to the natural reaction of the body.

When it comes to treating the condition the replacement therapy replaces the gene that is missing and causes clotting in the body. The main factors for hemophilia are factor VIII and Factor IX. Replacement therapy can back the body to discontinuance bleeding and wait on clotting (Kessler, 2007).

The “Royal Disease”

When the United Kingdom's Queen Victoria gave birth to her eighth child, Leopold, in 1853, it quickly became clear that he had hemophilia—despite the fact that Queen Victoria had no ancestors with the problem. Leopold died from bleeding in the brain at the age of 31, and two of Victoria's daughters were discovered to be carriers as well, eventually passing hemophilia on to royal families in Spain, Russia, and Germany. Perhaps the most famous royal to have hemophilia was Tsarevich Alexei, son of Alexandra Feodorovna (Queen Victoria's granddaughter) and Nicholas II. Monk Grigori Rasputin was called upon to help heal Alexei, and as a result, made great inroads in influencing the Russian court. The distraction Alexei's health issue caused for Nicholas II and the power Rasputin gained are credited in part with leading to the Russian Revolution in 1917 (Lippi, 2010). Hemophilia A as a Hereditary Disease

Hemophilia A as a hereditary disease has been described in the Talmud in the V century AD. By the laws of the rabbis, the boy was freed from circumcision if two of his older brother ...
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