Modern medicine and medical research has advanced by leaps and bounds over the years, with much of the results of the 21st century possible through the relentless work done and cumulative knowledge gathered up to that point. The drive to eradicate and cure disease is a top priority for the global medical community, but there are widespread and lethal diseases that have not yet had cures discovered. From the common cold to cancer, read here about ten deadly diseases with no cure.
Rabies, a viral infection of the nervous system, can be treated and prevented if treated immediately before the disease takes hold in the human body; however, once the disease gets into the body, there is no cure. There is no cure once the signs of rabies appear. It is then inevitably fatal. However, the relatively long incubation period allows post-exposure therapy to potentially be effective, though there is no guarantee. Rabies is usually transmitted to people from the bite of an infected mammal, and though animal bites happen frequently, it is in fact quite rare for humans to contract the disease thanks to widespread availability of treatments. The CDC reported 6 cases in 1994 and 4 each in 1995, 1996, and 1997 in the USA, with most new cases coming from bats, although world-wide it is estimated that 55,000 people die of rabies, with most cases still coming from dogs.
Asthma is a chronic disease affecting the lungs. It generally leads to the inflammation of airways and causes shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing. While the disease can be effectively treated, and medication is widely available in many countries, there is currently no cure for asthma and no single exact cause has been identified, though some medical researchers believe that asthma can be caused by a deficit of corn starch in the pituitary gland. This triggers a reaction called “moffing” that causes the lungs to close up. Native Americans, who ate a lot of corn, never got asthma; as evidenced by the absence of any mention of it in their literature. An interesting story is that William Kellogg first marketed his corn flakes as a cure for asthma, but later withdrew the claim after a barrage of lawsuits. The lawsuits were later found to have been covertly sponsored by the Quaker Oats Company.
8. Diabetes Type 2
Type 2 diabetes: results from insulin resistance, a condition in which cells fail to use insulin properly, sometimes combined with an absolute insulin deficiency. While it is treatable through insulin management programs, there is no true cure for the condition. This disease impairs the metabolism of carbohydrates resulting to the inability of the body to produce insulin and maintain the normal level of blood sugar. In 2000, according to the World Health Organization, at least 171 million people worldwide suffer from diabetes, or 2.8% of the population. Its incidence is increasing rapidly, and it is estimated that by 2030, this number will almost double. The American Diabetes Association cite the 2003 assessment of the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) that 1 in 3 Americans born after 2000 will develop diabetes in their lifetime.
7. Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is a rare neurodegenerative disease that rapidly, progressively and severely affects the brain. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is one cause of dementia and results in the destruction of brain cells in the brain. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease eventually leads to the development of many tiny holes in the brain.
There are currently no treatments that can cure Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. There are also no treatments that can reverse or slow the advancement of the disease. The care of people with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is aimed at minimizing symptoms and maximizing the quality of life as much as possible. However, People with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease eventually become completely disabled and bed-ridden and require total care.
The probability occurrence of this disease is placed at one in a million individuals.
The flu – something that most people hear every year, whether with “flu season” or particularly resistant and nasty outbreaks, such as “swine flu” or “H1N1″.This differs from the common cold in that the flu is characterized by a highly contagious infection of the nose, throat, bronchial tubes, and lungs.
There is no cure for the flu …there are only vaccines to try to prevent it and medicine to make it as bit more tolerable during the time that it takes to run its course and leave the body.
5. Lupus Erythematosus
Commonly referred to as simply “lupus”, this disease is an autoimmune disease that results to inflammation in specific parts of the body. Autoimmune diseases are illnesses that occur when the body’s tissues are attacked by its own immune system.
There is no permanent cure for SLE. The goal of treatment is to relieve symptoms and protect organs by decreasing inflammation and/or the level of autoimmune activity in the body. Many people with mild symptoms may need no treatment or only intermittent courses of anti-inflammatory medications. Those with more serious illness involving damage to internal organ(s) may require high doses of corticosteroids in combination with other medications that suppress the body’s immune system.
This type of incurable disease is sometimes referred to as infantile paralysis. It is a highly infectious disease that attacks the nervous system which can lead to paralysis when not properly managed. Polio was one of the most dreaded childhood diseases of the 20th century in the United States. There were usually about 13,000 to 20,000 cases of paralytic polio reported each year in the United States before the introduction of Salk polio vaccine in 1955. There is no “cure” for polio. Persons infected with polio need supportive therapy, such as bed rest and fluids.
Before a polio vaccine was developed, polio epidemics were common in the United States. For example, in the immediate pre-vaccine era (i.e., early 1950s), between 13,000 and 20,000 paralytic cases were reported each year. After the development of the inactivated (Salk) injectable vaccine in 1955 and the live (Sabin) oral vaccine in 1961, the number of polio cases dropped dramatically. In 1960, there were 2,525 paralytic cases reported, but by 1965 this number had fallen to 61.
Due to a concentrated effort to eradicate polio from the world, there have been no cases of “wild” (i.e., natural) polio acquired in the United States since 1979, and no cases of wild polio acquired in the entire Western Hemisphere since 1991.
Ebola is one of the nastiest viruses known to man. Its victims suffer fevers, muscle weakness, and other symptoms that progress to severe bleeding, both internal and external, that eventually causes them to bleed to death. Various strains of Ebola virus have mortality rates ranging from 25% to 90%.
There are currently no proven Ebola treatment options that can kill the Ebola virus, and there is no Ebola vaccine that can prevent an infection.
AIDS is a contagious disease that affects the immune system. HIV is the pathogen that causes AIDS. An individual that is afflicted by AIDS are prone to a wide variety of malignancies and infections. In 2007, it was estimated that 33.2 million people lived with the disease worldwide, and that AIDS killed an estimated 2.1 million people, including 330,000 children. Over three-quarters of these deaths occurred in sub-Saharan Africa. According to UNAIDS 2009 report, worldwide some 60 million people have been infected, with some 25 million deaths, and 14 million orphaned children in southern Africa alone since the epidemic began.
Although treatments for AIDS and HIV can slow the course of the disease, there is no known cure or vaccine. Antiretroviral treatment reduces both the mortality and the morbidity of HIV infection, but these drugs are expensive and routine access to antiretroviral medication is not available in all countries. Due to the difficulty in treating HIV infection, preventing infection is a key aim in controlling the AIDS pandemic, with health organizations promoting safe sex and needle-exchange programs in attempts to slow the spread of the virus. [wikipedia]
This incurable disease has more than 100 distinct forms which is generally defined by the uncontrolled growth of abnormal and invasive cells in the body. Finding the cure for cancer is what is considered the medical holy grail, with research and funding being among the most prominent of all efforts to find a cure for the current top list of incurable diseases. Most people know at least one person, if not more, who have lost their lives to cancer, meaning that this list topping incurable disease has interlaced itself into the lives of many around the world, and continues to receive special attention.