Rare unknown diseases // Drug Repurposing

Rare unknown diseases

arm2While we’ve all heard of diseases, seen someone with a disease, and had a disease personally, it’s unlikely that we’ve encountered a rare disease. In the non-medical world, people use and interchange disease to mean infection, sickness, illness, or something similar. In the medical world, a disease is an abnormal condition that impairs bodily functions and is often associated with certain signs and symptoms.


Also called an orphan disease, rare diseases are those that are extremely uncommon and often have such low prevalence that a common doctor would not run into more than one case of that disease over a course of years, if ever. Here is a list of 10 diseases that rarely affect people.

10. Morgellons

1Today, Morgellons stands as a very poorly understood disease that some doctors seem to believe if a chronic infectious disease. Sadly, the disease is usually disfiguring as well as disabling. The disease is classified by biting, itching, or crawling sensations, filaments that grow from the skin, and skin lesions, as well as memory loss, joint paint, and fatigue. Morgellons is still not recognized by the entire medical community, but there have been about 2, 000 people within the U.S. who believe they suffer from the disease. Some of the reports are children, who are said to be unable to do normal things such as going to school or playing sports. There is no known cure or effective treatment for Morgellons.

tcge01019. Paraneoplastic pemphigus (PNP)

Though there are many forms of pemphigus, paraneoplastic pemphigus is the least common and most serious. PNP is a rare autoimmune bullous disease that causes blistering. Keratinocytes, which are what make up the epidemus, separate from each other, leaving gaps. Many times the gaps become filled with fluid peel off, leaving the skin raw and open to infection. These blisters usually appear in the mouth, throat, lips, and random places on the skin. The disease is also extremely fatal, as 90% of those diagnosed with the disease die due to sepsis, multi-organ failure, or cancer that caused the disease.

hippel8. Microcephaly

Microcephaly is a very rare condition that is noticeable immediately at birth, and sometimes even before. It affects 1 in every 666, 666 in the U.S. With microcephaly, the brain is unable to develop properly, or in some cases ceases to grow at all, while the baby is still in the womb. This causes the head to be smaller than a normal infant’s head at birth. Many believe that the disease is caused by exposure to harmful substances while in the womb, exposure to radiation, or genetic problems. The disease is usually paired with Down’s syndrome. Those who have microcephaly are usually mentally retarded and will have issues with hyperactivity, dwarfism, seizures, balance issues, speech and motor problems, as well as others.

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