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Vanderbilt expanding work with undiagnosed diseases

April 16, 2021 GMT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Vanderbilt University Medical Center announced on Thursday it is launching a new program to increase the number of patients with undiagnosed diseases that it can help each year.

The Nashville, Tennessee, medical center already works with the National Institutes of Health’s Undiagnosed Diseases Network. Now it is creating its own Vanderbilt Undiagnosed Diseases Program as well, according to a news release from the medical center.

There are millions of Americans with undiagnosed diseases. Through the partnership with the NIH, Vanderbilt can only evaluate about 30 patients a year, according to the medical center. With the new program, Vanderbilt expects to see an additional 45-50 patients a year, with further expansion in the future.

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“Many adult patients with undiagnosed diseases have been looking for answers for 10-20 years, and pediatric patients, all their lives,” said program director Rizwan Hamid.

Hamid said not all patients end up with an answer, but Vanderbilt’s doctors use the most advanced technology available.