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UGent team of top doctors to focus on undiagnosed conditions

11:52 26/05/2015

Four specialists from different disciplines at the University Hospital of Ghent are embarking on a project that will focus on patients who have remained undiagnosed for several years. The Programme for Undiagnosable Rare Disorders (PrOZA) is the first of its kind in Belgium, reported De Morgen.

The initiative is meant to lead to faster and more efficient diagnoses. The team consists of a geneticist, an specialist in internal medicine, a neurologist and a nephrologist (kidney specialist).

Patients can only be referred to the team by their doctor. It is estimated that between 60,000 and 100,000 people in Belgium are suffering from a rare disorder, and 44% of them receive incorrect diagnoses before the actual cause of their illnesses are found.

The Flemish Patients Platform (VPP) responded enthusiastically to the initiative. “It’s very important that hospitals unite their highly specialised expertise to deal with rare disorders,” VPP director Ilse Weeghmans told De Morgen. “It is, however, still necessary to establish extra expertise centres as well.”

Written by Andy Furniere