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Can hemophilia be cured?

Currently, there is no cure for hemophilia. But scientists are always trying to find a cure. They believe the answer lies in gene therapy. The chemical "directions" for blood clotting are found on a certain gene in each cell of the body. When you have hemophilia, the directions are scrambled, and the body can't read them correctly. The body can't produce enough factor that works. Remember, we compared this to trying to assemble a CD player with directions that are half in English and half in Greek. You won't be able to get it to work correctly! The directions aren't clear.

To cure hemophilia, scientists hope to repair or replace the faulty gene. This could mean taking genes with the correct directions for making factor and inserting them into the cells of a person with hemophilia. In our example above, it would be as if the CD player manufacturer replaced the English/Greek directions that came in your box with ones from another box that are in English only. You can read them now, and you can finish assembling your CD player. Likewise, scientists believe the new gene will give the correct directions to the body to start producing high levels of factor. The person with hemophilia might now develop successful blood clotting.

Scientists are still researching how to use gene therapy to cure hemophilia. Some scientists at the University of North Carolina managed to cure a dog with hemophilia for about a month. This was a great breakthrough, and scientists hope that in the coming years the same success will be seen in people.