In the United States, a disease is generally considered rare if it occurs in less than 200,000 people. Those who suffer from these so-called “orphan” diseases often go undiagnosed for years, and then are left with little to go on in terms of treatment, known causes and cures.
In honor of Rare Disease Day, which is coordinated by the National Organization for Rare Disorders and is coming up in February, we’re highlighting 10 rare diseases that many people have never heard of, in order to broaden horizons and promote awareness of these conditions.
This is just a small sampling of the nearly 7,000 rare diseases recognized by the National Institutes of Health Office of Rare Diseases Research. To learn more about a particular rare disease, you can visit their site directly.