What are the different kinds of Thalassemia?

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jerichorayel eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Thalassemia is a type of blood disorder which is genetically inherited via autosomal recessive traits. Generally, patients with this disorder have difficulty in production of normal hemoglobin which leads to complications such as iron overload, osteo- and cardiovascular diseases. This disease has been classified into different types depending on how the genes have been mutated or removed.

Alpha Thalassemia is the mutation for the production of alpha globin protein is mutated or missing. For beta thalassemia, the HBB gene in the chromosome 11, which is responsible for the beta globin protein, is mutated. 

Both the alpha and the beta forms have their subtypes, the major and the minor. Major thalassemia is the case if the patients inherited both of the defective genes from the parents. Thalassemia minor happens if the patient only inherits the mutated gene from one of the parent. Minor cases often have lesser symptoms.