Medicine is improving all the time, so new cures for nasty diseases are always being found. Unfortunately, there are still many horrific diseases that have no known cure. It must be terrifying finding out you or a nearest and dearest has an incurable disease and if it’s terminal it doesn’t bear thinking about. Here are 8 of the worst incurable diseases you might want to know about!
Ebola is a tropical virus that was first identified in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1976. It’s a haemorrhagic virus spread by bodily fluids, and as patients often vomit blood, the people looking after them very often contract it. It begins with flu-like symptoms but eventually leads to serious internal bleeding, and, usually, death.
2. Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva
This is a disease of the connective tissue and is extremely rare. When tissues such as muscles, tendons and ligaments are damaged, they become ossified (turn into bone). Patients can be almost completely unable to move by the time they die, making it one of the worst incurable diseases.
3. Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease
This incurable disease is a degenerative neurological disorder (a disease of the brain) and is like a human form of mad cow disease. Around one person in every million gets it each year and it’s most common in people aged 45-75. Very few people live for more than a year after the onset of symptoms.
4. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a motor neuron disease which causes the weakening and wasting of muscles. Sufferers of this incurable disease eventually lose all control of voluntary movement and some can also develop forms of dementia. Most people with the condition die of pneumonia respiratory failure.
5. Lesch–Nyhan Syndrome
This is an inherited disorder which is caused by the deficiency of a certain enzyme, causing a build-up of uric acid in the body fluids. This leads to poor muscle control and mental retardation. Sufferers often self-mutilate and can be violent. Although there’s no cure, sufferers do often live to adulthood.
6. Fatal Familial Insomnia
FFI is a very rare disease of the brain which is usually inherited. The average age of onset is 50, and death comes usually 7 to 36 months from the onset of symptoms. It begins with insomnia and develops into hallucinations, paranoia and rapid weight loss. The patient is usually completely unresponsive before they die.
7. Spinocerebellar Ataxia
This degenerative incurable disease is genetic and there are many different types of it. While there is no cure for it, there are drugs that can help to alleviate the symptoms, which are typically loss of muscle control and tremors. Some sufferers can have a normal lifespan while others can die very young.
Progeria is a disease that causes children to age very prematurely and quickly. A baby with the genetic mutation is born a normal, healthy baby but symptoms normally appear when the child is 18-24 months. Children with progeria have bodies like those of elderly people, with wrinkled skin and poor eyesight and very few sufferers live beyond 13 years.
These incurable diseases are all very nasty but don’t worry too much as they are also very rare. We just have to hope that one day, cures will be found to save the unfortunate people who are born with or contract these diseases. Do you think it's possible to find a cure for everything?
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