As one of the most popular names in the tabloid world, the king of pop, Michael Jackson is in the news again. This time, it's a genetic issue regarding his need for a lung transplant. The genetic condition is called alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, which can lead to emphysema.
Medical reports state that people with this condition are unable to shut down certain enzymes that help attack bacteria and inflammatory cells. This inability results in an attack of the lungs.
Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency can also affect the liver, and some children with this condition can actually develop liver disease since the liver is unable to excrete protein.
In Michael's case, this genetic condition has also caused him to lose vision in his left eye, emphysema, and gastrointestinal bleeding.
Journalist Ian Halperin comments on the severity of Michael's case, "He needs a lung transplant, but may be too weak to go through with it…It's the bleeding that's the most problematic part. It could kill him."
Norman H. Edelman, chief medical officer of the American Lung Association states that emphysema patients are considered for a lung transplant if their condition becomes severe. He claims that the alpha-1 type of emphysema is more serious than a case of only emphysema as it moves at a more rapid speed.
However, Michael's spokesperson states that Halperin, who is working on the singer's biography, claims that these testimonies on his health are completely false.
Michael's spokesperson says "Concerning this author's allegations, we would hope in the future that legitimate media will not continue to be exploited by such an obvious attempt to promote this unauthorized 'biography.'"
The statement went on to say, "The writer's wild allegations concerning Mr. Jackson's health are a total fabrication. Mr. Jackson is in fine health and finalizing negotiations with a major entertainment company and television network for both a world tour and a series of specials and appearances."
At 50 years old, Jackson is one of the best-selling recording artists of all time. His career began when he was just a child, in the Motown group the Jackson 5.
Throughout his career, Michael has been one of the biggest gossip targets in Hollywood, namely child sex abuse charges.