List of incurable diseases

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This is an incomplete list of incurable diseases. It includes both physical and mental diseases.



  • Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy – Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy is a disease in the body's blood vessels that causes a buildup of a protein that can cause the blood vessels in the brain to burst, resulting in headaches. It is commonly brought on by dementia, but can occur in a person who never had dementia.[2]
  • Common cold – The common cold is a disease that mutates too frequently for a vaccine or cure to be created,[3] and is rarely fatal.[4]
  • Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease – This is a neurodegenerative disease. There is no treatment or cure for this disease,[5] although there has been extensive efforts done to reduce the chance of being infected with it.
  • Crohn's disease-This is an autoimmune disorder that causes inflamation in the intestinal tract. It cannot be cured, but can be managed with medications and surgery.[6]
  • Coeliac disease – Coeliac (or celiac) disease is a chronic, multiple-organ autoimmune disorder primarily affecting the small intestine caused by the ingestion of gluten, that appears in genetically predisposed people of all ages.[7] "Non-classic" presentation is the most common type, especially in older children (over 2 years old), adolescents, and adults.[8][9] It is characterized by mild, fluctuating or even apparently absent gastrointestinal symptoms and a wide spectrum of non-intestinal manifestations that can involve any organ of the body, frequent negativity of serological markers (TG2), and minor mucosal lesions, without atrophy of the intestinal villi.[9][10][11] Most cases remain unrecognized and undiagnosed.[12] Untreated, it can cause many health complications and associated disorders, among which an increased risk of several types of cancer and greater mortality are included.[13][14] Currently there is no cure and the only known effective treatment is a strict lifelong gluten-free diet, which leads to recovery of the intestinal mucosa, improves symptoms and reduces risk of developing complications in most people.[15]
  • Cystic Fibrosis



  • Ebola virus – Although there is treatment that has resulted in patients infected with this virus to have a full recovery,[18] there is no vaccine or cure available. However, there are currently two potential vaccines that are under evaluation by the WHO.[18] The only way to currently recover from this virus is to have a constant stream of medication and fluids.
  • Epilepsy – While epilepsy can be considered to be resolved for "individuals who had an age-dependent epilepsy syndrome but are now past the applicable age or those who have remained seizure-free for the last 10 years, with no seizure medicines for the last 5 years", those with a history of epilepsy that is now considered resolved have a greater risk of seizures than the baseline unaffected population and there is no guarantee that epilepsy will not return in resolved individuals.[19]


  • Factor V Leiden Mutation - is a variant (mutated form) of human factor V (one of several substances that helps blood clot), which causes an increase in blood clotting (hypercoagulability). With this mutation, the anticoagulant protein secreted (which normally inhibits the pro-clotting activity of factor V) is not able to bind normally to Factor V, leading to a hypercoagulable state, i.e., an increased tendency for the patient to form abnormal and potentially harmful blood clots. Factor V Leiden is the most common hereditary hypercoagulability (prone to clotting) disorder amongst ethnic Europeans. It is named after the Dutch city Leiden, where it was first identified in 1994 by Prof R. Bertina et al. Suspicion of factor V Leiden being the cause for any thrombotic event should be considered in any Caucasian patient below the age of 45, or in any person with a family history of venous thrombosis.
  • Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva – A genetic disorder characterised by soft tissue injuries healing into bone. Despite this, the bones do not have joints and limit mobility. Cutting off the bone results in explosive bone growth. It is genetic, and no known cure exists [23]


  • Gastroparesis - Means "Delayed Gastric Emptying" and is caused by the damage to the vagus nerve in cases of long-standing diabetes. Currently there are some treatments to help the stomach empty but none of them seems effective against refractory gastroparesis.
  • Genetic disease – Most genetic diseases are incurable.
  • Glioblastoma – Most frequent and most malignant human brain tumor.[25] There are currently no curative treatments available and virtually all patients experience tumor recurrence.[26]


  • Hepatitis B Infection of the liver caused by sexual transmission and body fluid contact. Can lead to scarring of liver and liver cancer.
  • Herpes – Herpes is an infection marked by genital pain and sores. It is sexually transmitted if there is no protection and is very common.
  • HIV/AIDS – No cure exists for HIV/AIDS, but medication exists that can help control the symptoms of it.[27]
  • Huntington's disease
  • Hearing Loss(Sensorineural)
  • Hereditary Multiple Exostoses No cure exists for this autosomal dominant hereditary disorder, although surgery to remove exostoses (growths of bone) is an option when they get to an unbearable level, and medication exists to control the condition as it can cause extreme pain in bones and joints, as well as hinder and lessen the mobility of sufferers.



  • Joint pain – Joint pain may have multiple causes, and/or be associated with multiple diseases. Some have cures, others are incurable but the joint pain may be ameliorated. [31]


  • Lichen planus – A disease characterized by itchy reddish-purple polygon-shaped skin lesions on the lower back, wrists, and ankles.[32] It may also be present with a burning sensation in the mouth, and a lattice-like network of white lines near sites of erosion (Wickham striae). The cause is unknown, but it is thought to be the result of an autoimmune process with an unknown initial trigger. There is no cure, but many different medications and procedures have been used in efforts to control the symptoms.
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus – Lupus is an autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue in many parts of the body–symptoms vary between people and may be mild to severe. Common symptoms include painful and swollen joints, fever, chest pain, hair loss, mouth ulcers, swollen lymph nodes, feeling tired, and a red rash which is most commonly on the face. [33]
  • Lymphedema



  • Norovirus – This virus is responsible for 18–24% of all causes of acute gastroenteritis worldwide, however there is no treatment, vaccine, or cure available.


  • Osteoporosis – Osteoporosis is a disease where increased bone weakness increases the risk of a broken bone. It is the most common reason for a broken bone among the elderly. Treatment for Osteoporosis includes a good diet, exercise, and fall prevention. The most common medications used in treatment are Bisphosphonates, and Teriparatide.
  • Osteogenesis imperfecta – Osteogenesis imperfecta, or brittle bone disease, is a group of genetic disorders that mainly affect the bones, resulting in bones that break easily. Other symptoms may include a blue tinge to the whites of the eye, short height, loose joints, hearing loss, breathing problems and problems with the teeth. Major complications may include cervical artery dissection and aortic dissection. Treatment may include care of broken bones, pain medication, physical therapy, braces or wheelchairs and surgery.


  • Parkinson's disease
  • Progeria – Progeria has no cure and a very small amount of treatments.[41] However, there is a medicine in the making that is undergoing testing and trials that may lead to a cure.[42] The disorder usually leads to death at a young age.[43]
  • Polio – While there is a vaccine to prevent Polio, there is no known cure for it.[44]
  • Pre-eclampsia – a multisystem progressive disorder characterized by the new onset of hypertension and proteinuria, or of hypertension and significant end-organ dysfunction with or without proteinuria, in the last half of pregnancy or postpartum. The disorder is caused by placental and maternal vascular dysfunction and always resolves after delivery. Although most affected pregnancies deliver at term or near term with good maternal and fetal outcomes, these pregnancies are at increased risk for maternal and/or fetal mortality or serious morbidity. In addition, women with preeclampsia are at increased risk for future cardiovascular disease.
  • Psoriasis – Psoriasis is an auto-immune disease which affects the skin. It can be treated and controlled to some extent with medication but has no definitive cure. [45]
  • Pulmonary Hypertension – a type of high blood pressure that affects the arteries in your lungs and the right side of your heart. In one form of pulmonary hypertension, tiny arteries in your lungs, called pulmonary arterioles, and capillaries become narrowed, blocked or destroyed. This makes it harder for blood to flow through your lungs, and raises pressure within your lungs' arteries. As the pressure builds, your heart's lower right chamber (right ventricle) must work harder to pump blood through your lungs, eventually causing your heart muscle to weaken and fail. Some forms of pulmonary hypertension are serious conditions that become progressively worse and are sometimes fatal. Although some forms of pulmonary hypertension aren't curable, treatment can help lessen symptoms and improve your quality of life.[46] [The gold standard for diagnosing Pulmonary Hypertension is a right heart cath procedure.] In a right-heart cath, your doctor guides a special catheter (a small, hollow tube) called a pulmonary artery (PA) catheter to the right side of your heart. He or she then passes the tube into your pulmonary artery. This is the main artery that carries blood to your lungs. [47] There are various types of Pulmonary Hypertension, some have no known cause (aka Idiopathic), some are believed to be genetic, and some forms of Pulmonary Hypertension are secondary in nature and are caused by other diseases or conditions. See Pulmonary Hypertension Association for more information, an educational support group for sufferers of pulmonary hypertension.


  • Rheumatoid Arthritis – Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the joints.[48]
  • Rabies – Rabies is a viral disease that causes inflammation of the brain in humans and other mammals. Early symptoms can include fever and tingling at the site of exposure, followed by one or more of the following symptoms: violent movements, uncontrolled excitement, fear of water, an inability to move parts of the body, confusion, and loss of consciousness. Once symptoms appear, the result is nearly always death. The time period between contracting the disease and the start of symptoms is usually one to three months; however, the time is dependent on the distance the virus must travel along nerves to reach the central nervous system. In people who have been exposed to rabies, the rabies vaccine and sometimes rabies immunoglobulin are effective in preventing the disease if the person receives the treatment before the start of rabies symptoms. Once the patient becomes symptomatic, treatment is almost never effective and mortality is over 99%. Rabies may also inflame the spinal cord, producing transverse myelitis.
  • Rett syndrome (RTT) – an X-linked genetic brain disorder, which typically becomes apparent after 6 to 18 months of age in females. Symptoms include problems with language, coordination, and repetitive movements. Often there is slower growth, problems walking, and a smaller head size. Complications can include seizures, scoliosis, and sleeping problems. There is no known cure for Rett syndrome, treatment is directed at improving symptoms. Anticonvulsants may be used to help with seizures, and special education, physiotherapy, and braces may also be useful.


  • Schizophrenia – Many treatments are available and proven to improve the condition, however, there is no definitive cure for this mental disease.[49][50]
  • Scoliosis
  • Spinocerebellar Ataxia – This is a genetic disorder that inhibits the person's ability to use their nervous system.[51]
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome – (SARS) is a respiratory illness that first infected people in parts of Asia, North America, and Europe in late 2002 and early 2003. SARS is caused by a type of coronavirus, which can cause mild to moderate upper respiratory illness, such as the common cold.
  • Sickle cell disease – A disorder that cause red blood cells to become misshapen and break down. It is very rare and has no cure.


  • Trigeminal Neuralgia – A chronic pain condition that affects the trigeminal or 5th cranial nerve, one of the most widely distributed nerves in the head. There is no true cure for the disease, but it can be treated.[52]
  • Toxoplasmosis – A zoonotic disease spread from cat feces, undercooked meat and fresh unwashed vegetables.


See also[edit]

  • Lists of diseases – A list of lists for all the different kinds of diseases that are known.


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