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NIH Launches Undiagnosed Diseases Program

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) today announced a new clinical research program that will aim to provide answers to patients with mysterious conditions that have long eluded diagnosis. Called the Undiagnosed Diseases Program, the trans-NIH initiative will focus on the most puzzling medical cases referred to the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, MD, by physicians across the nation.

The program is ready to accept patients, the first of which is expected to be seen in July 2008. To be considered for this NIH pilot program, a patient must be referred by a physician and provide all medical records and diagnostic test results requested by NIH. Patients who meet the program’s criteria — as many as 100 each year — will then be asked to undergo additional evaluation during a visit to the NIH Clinical Center that may take up to a week.

For more information about the Undiagnosed Diseases Program, go to: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/Undiagnosed. Physicians and patients with specific inquiries may call the NIH Clinical Center clinical information research line, at 1-866-444-8806.

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