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Rare Diseases

Rare diseases may not be common, but they are no less painful or difficult than conditions you've heard of. Learn about the causes and symptoms of rare diseases as well as how patients can find treatments for their unusual conditions.

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What are the world's rarest diseases?

What if you were the only person in the world with a disease, and scientists used your name to classify it? How would doctors know what was wrong?


10 Diseases Named After People

Some scientists get the recognition they deserve — in the names of diseases they found. Learn about 10 diseases named after people at HowStuffWorks. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions About Proteus Syndrome

Proteus syndrome causes atypical development of bone and tissue, leading to physical deformities. See these frequently asked questions about Proteus syndrome. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions About Neurofibromatosis

Neurofibromatosis is a genetic disorder that causes tumors to form on nerves throughout the body. Learn more about neurofibromatosis here. See more »

Top 10 Rare Diseases

Rare diseases are usually genetic, but environmental factors can play a role. Take a look at the top 10 rare diseases that you may never have heard of. See more »

20 Diseases You've Probably Never Heard Of

There are many diseases out there you've never heard of. We've put together the top 20 diseases you've probably never heard of that are rare and unusual. See more »

The Elephant Man Image Gallery

These pictures of the 'Elephant Man' are of one of the most shockingly disfigured person in history. See pictures of the 'Elephant Man' to learn more. See more »

10 Bizarre Medical Conditions

Bizarre medical conditions have baffling symptoms and often no cure. Take a look at these 10 bizarre medical conditions that have and do occur. See more »

What are the world's rarest diseases?

The world's rarest diseases may affect few people or may exist solely in a lab. Learn about the world's rarest diseases and what makes a disease rare. See more »

12 Deadly Diseases Cured in the 20th Century

Diseases like polio and smallpox took countless lives before a cure was found. Read our list of 12 diseases that were cured in the 20th century. See more »