The page provides quick access to a list of common rare and neglected diseases, syndromes, health conditions, and other topics of health importance. The list is organized alphabetically. Links are provided to respective diseases sections that serve as a comprehensive and ultimate guide about the disease or health condition.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), rare diseases are defined as lifelong disease or disorder which has a prevalence of 1 or less in a population of 1000 people. In the United States, a prevalence of less than 200,000 cases indicates a medical condition to be rare. Rare diseases are also referred as orphan diseases as various drug companies do not want to develop any treatment or medication for it.
Majority of rare diseases occur due to genetic mutations in genes or chromosomes of an individual. Some cases have been reported where rare diseases occur due to an infection or due to rare cancers or autoimmune diseases. These autoimmune diseases do not have any inheritable significance.
Most rare diseases cannot be cured and lead to death of an individual or shortened life expectancy. Till date, all aspects of a rare disease have not been fully identified and understood by scientists, therefore, it is difficult to diagnose, treat and prevent occurrence of such diseases.
Some common rare diseases which have a widespread occurrence are acquired hemophilia, alkaptonuria, alpha and beta thalassemia, cystic fibrosis, Duchene muscular dystrophy, stargardt disease, sickle cell disease, nipah virus infection etc.