With age science and medicine have given us breakthrough cures to many illnesses and diseases. Modern medicine has helped save thousands of lives by developing treatment to medical problems like tuberculosis, skin cancer, syphilis, bacterial meningitis, detached retina and several others. But given our modern way of life, new diseases keep showing up. Though a greater number of currently found diseases are curable, there are a few that stay incurable. And some of these have affected numerous people in various parts of the world.
Here we enlist ten incurable diseases that are yet ‘safe’ from reach of science, few being deadly diseases.
AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) is a potentially life threatening disease which is yet incurable. Affecting the immune system, the disease interferes with body’s ability to fight harmful organisms thus leaving patient exposed to possible infections. AIDS is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that can transmit through unprotected sex, use of unsterilized syringes or contact with infected blood. It can also transmit from infected mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth or breast-feeding.
One of the life threatening diseases, Influenza is a viral infection commonly referred as flu. The infection affects human respiratory system i.e. nose, throat and lungs. Usually young children, pregnant women, elderly, people with weak immunity and people with severe illnesses are at higher risk of getting the flu. Taking annual vaccination is the best solution to keep this virus at bay. Though also known as flu, Influenza is very different from common cold or a stomach virus. It does not cause vomiting or diarrhea in adults. Apparently influenza symptoms are worse than common cold and take longer to go away.
3. Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is one of the most deadly diseases. A rare degenerative disease of the central nervous system, it usually occurs in adults between 40 to 70 years of age. At times referred as human form of mad cow disease, initially it leads to weird psychiatric or behavioral changes. Within weeks or months it shapes into a progressive dementia, also causing abnormal vision and involuntary movements. The disease was first noticed by German neurologists HG Creutzfeldt and AM Jakob, hence the name. On an average this fatal disease affects one person in a million and leads to death within a year of its onset.
Polio or Poliomyelitis is an acute viral infectious disease of the nervous system transmitted from human to human through infected feces or less commonly infected saliva. Surprisingly, 90% of poliovirus infections cause no symptoms. While other 10% show common symptoms like neck stiffness, muscle pain, fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting and diarrhea. The infection may be diagnosed by detecting virus in the feces. Also blood samples can be checked for antibodies against it in the blood.
One of the most common illnesses, diabetes is a chronic disorder of carbohydrate metabolism that impairs the functioning of hormone insulin in the body. Either the body is not able to produce enough insulin or the cells stop responding to the insulin produced. This leads to an inability to maintain required levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. Diabetes occurs in Type1 and Type2 forms. Type 1 is an autoimmune disorder that affects insulin production. The patient’s immune system starts producing antibodies that attack the insulin-producing beta cells. Type 2 is the common type that usually develops in overweight and elderly people. In Type 2 the body does produce insulin but either the pancreatic secretion of insulin is very slow or the body is not able to use the insulin well enough.
6. Lupus Erythematosus
An autoimmune disorder, Lupus Erythematosus renders human immune system dysfunctional. Affecting different body systems, it causes immune system to hyperactively attack healthy tissues. Four major kinds of lupus are systemic, neonatal, drug-induced and discoid. The disease attacks various body systems, including skin, blood cells, joints, heart, lungs and kidneys.
According to World Health Organization, Ebola virus disease or Ebola hemorrhagic fever is one of the most deadly diseases with average fatality rate of 50%. The symptoms include profuse hemorrhaging, severe fever and rash. Transmitted from wild animals, the virus spreads through human to human transmission. The first Ebola virus outbreak occurred in 1976 in Ebola River region of the northern Congo basin in central Africa, hence the name.
8. Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy
Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy (CAA) is a cerebrovascular disorder wherein proteins called amyloid deposits on the walls of small and medium sized brain arteries. The protein does not build up anywhere else in the body. Also known as congophilic angiopathy, the disease increases the risk of hemorrhagic stroke and dementia.CAA can lead to bleeding into the brain that can harm brain tissue. Till date the cause of CAA is not known, however, it may be passed down through families.
Sometimes referred to as bronchial asthma or reactive airway disease, asthma is the common chronic inflammatory lung disease. The inflamed airways become swollen and extremely sensitive to irritations, making patients susceptible to allergic reaction. Symptoms include coughing, wheezing, chest tightness and shortness of breath. These may vary in severity from patient to patient. Though a chronic and potentially life threatening disease, asthma can be controlled with timely treatment and good management.
Cancer is one of the most deadly diseases that we have known for a long time now. A heterogeneous class of more than 100 diseases, cancer is marked by uncontrolled and abnormal behavior of body cells which destroy adjacent tissues. Crucial advances have been made in the direction of finding effective cure, and have resulted into treatments like selective surgery, radiation therapy, chemo therapy and drugs. Over the years number of deaths due to cancer has lowered and further steps are being taken to overcome this incurable disease.