It's finally come; the rare day that comes every four years, Rare Disease Day. For the past several weeks, leading up to February 29, I've been blogging about rare diseases. The basic theme of all my blogs is that the rarity of rare diseases is not a numeric accident. The rare diseases form a distinct class of diseases having a distinct set of unifying biological properties that distinguish them from common diseases.
In the past 30 years, most of the great advances of medicine have been in the realm of the rare diseases; not the common diseases. In many cases, progress in the common diseases has come as a secondary gain from discoveries made in rare diseases (e.g., statins to prevent heart disease, new cancer therapies targeted against specific molecules).
You can reverse-page through my recent posts, beginning on this blog page, to get a sense of why the rare diseases deserve our attention. Also, please read my book, Rare Diseases and Orphan Drugs: Keys to Understanding and Treating the Common Diseases, to learn why our best chance to eradicate the common diseases is by funding research in the rare diseases.
- Jules Berman
key words: rare disease, orphan drugs, orphan diseases, zebra diseases, rare disease day, common diseases, complex diseases, medical research, funding for rare disease research,jules j berman