Network Created To Diagnose Mystery Diseases

WASHINGTON (July 1, 2014) The National Institutes of Health is expanding its "mystery disease" program, funding a network at six universities to help diagnose patients with the rarest of diseases.

The NIH has evaluated hundreds of the cold-case patients in its campus research hospital as part of a pilot program since 2008, but demand is so great, there's a waiting list.

On Tuesday, the agency announced the NIH Undiagnosed Diseases Network, a four-year, $43 million initiative to bring more doctor-detectives on board with the goal of at least putting a name on more patients' puzzling symptoms, and then eventually finding treatments.

The centers include the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Duke University, Stanford University, University of California, Los Angeles, Vanderbilt University and the Harvard University teaching hospitals Brigham and Women's, Massachusetts General and Boston Children's.

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