Rare diseases are a disease which does not affect the majority of people and is characterized by rare symptoms. There are various factors which make a disease rare or common. Place or region is one such factor to determine a disease as rare or common. A disease might be rare in a particular place but it might be common in another place. For instance, in northern Europe, thalassemia which is an anemia of genetic origin is a rare disease. Whereas it is quite frequent in the Mediterranean region. In France, the periodic disease is rare but it is quite common in Armenia.
How Many Rare Diseases Have Been Discovered?
There are various common diseases whose variants and components could be rare. Thousands of rare diseases have been discovered and are still being discovered. On an average, more than six thousand rare diseases have been discovered and regularly continue to be discovered. The exact number of a rare disease which is existing as of now also depends on the specifications which classify them as a rare disease. As per the medical field, a disease is characterized by a pattern of symptoms which are unique and alters the state of health of a person. But whether the pattern of symptoms is regarded as unique is completely based on the analysis.
The Symptoms Of Rare Diseases
The cause for many rare diseases still remains unknown. Almost every genetic disease is a rare disease but not all rare diseases are genetic diseases. There are rare forms of infectious diseases such as some rare cancers and auto-immune diseases which are considered as rare diseases. Many rare diseases are characterized by disorders and symptoms that keep changing from with every disease and even with every patient. Some symptoms can be left undetected and can delay the treatment. Often there is no cure for some of the rare diseases.
Rare diseases generally are progressive and chronic diseases as well as quite serious. There are various rare diseases whose signs and symptoms could have been observed from a very young age such as neurofibromatosis, Rett syndrome, osteogenesis etc. While over 50 percent of rare diseases is only observed during adulthood such as thyroid cancer, Crohn disease, Huntington disease etc.
If a disease in Europe affects 1 person out of every 2000 people, the disease is considered a rare disease. The number of people which a rare disease will effect cannot be specified. There are rare diseases which might affect only a few people in the European Union and some other rare disease might affect more than 200,000 people. On an average over 30 million people are in the EU are affected by at least one form of rare disease from the existing 6000 rare diseases. Almost 80 percent of rare diseases are of genetic origin while several others can result from viral or bacterial infections, environmental reasons, proliferative and degenerative. The children are affected by almost 50 percent of rare diseases.