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BOSTON, Massachusetts, USA -- Hospitals collaborate to open National Center for Undiagnosable Disease (NCUD) --

When you get your enormous bill for that common medical ailment, fret no more. Starting next month, you can immediately feel better. A proportion, small but possibly growing in coming years, will be going to help others, along with the hospital administrative staff who have long suffered through economic down times.

It's easy to forget how good medical care is in Boston. Now, a new project funded by the Presidential Committee for Advancement of Hospital Administrators (PCAHA) has earmarked an annual $7 million grant over each of 4-years to a consortium of Boston's most prestigious hopitals. Brigham Young Patriot Hospital (BYPH), Massachusetts General Medical Center (MGMC) and Bostonian Irish Children’s Hospital (BICH) have formed the new National Center for Undiagnosable Disease (NCUD).

In fact, PCAHA isn’t stopping with that. Eventually a grand total of six centers have been given four-year grants of about $7 million each annually. The other five centers are yet to be announced, so Boston is the first to shake this rattle off it's pedestal.

"Our center will focus on the rarest of the rare disorders — most often those that affect fewer than 50 people in the entire world, in the entire history of the world, even counting all the foreign people, and all the dead people” Dr. Newbie Green, Chief Medical Director of the new facility, told UnNEWS. “They are so rare that they may never have been discovered or doctors may never have encountered them. In fact, they may or may not even exist. So we have the waiting list thing worked out, unlike those VA hospitals."

“Here in Boston we have enormous potential to help these kind of patients. We have the leading experts in undiagnosable diseases in three world-beating hospitals with big radiology machines and genomic technologies. We can bring these tools to bear on these difficult, dare I say it, almost impossible, cases,” said To Haul, chairman of the Department of Medicine at BYPH and Principal Clinical Investigator of the new NCUD. “This center gives us the opportunity to have select patients come in for up to a week at a time. We are looking especially for people who think they are without symptoms but who may have undiagnosable maladies. We are hopeful that the new NCUD will pinpoint diagnostic answers and potential therapeutic strategies for those with these diagnoses, but we also expect our knowledge gained through the evaluation of these cases will inform our understanding of the many other asymptomatic but complex diseases we face.”

A major goal of this program will also be to help train junior doctors how to line up intensive use of contemporary technologies and genomic approaches. "The supervising faculty feel that this way the young medics can get great hands on experience, just like we did back in the day." said Tundra Melt, senior pedian emeritus at BICH and Senior Supervisory Physician Factum for NCUD. "Advances in the science of medical genomics have found diseases that only affect people molecularly rather than in their daily lives, but there are still a number of questions about how low we can set the bar, and what will be the best course of action when we find anomalous microsignals. We have to work through the the challenges of relaying that information to patients. And at BICH where we see the children our job can be even harder because it's not just the patient themselves, but the worried parents whose children seem to possibly be healthy, so that's even harder for pediatricians, because we have to navigate the careful issues of explaining the microanomalies and not overburdening families with concerns."

“Our laboratory is world class for these undiagnosable diseases which have generally been turning out so far to be a complex result of a combination of multiple subtle genetic, environmental, and developmental factors. Genetic sequencing is the pivot to understanding how almost perfect polymorphisms can lead to these undiagnosable diseases; however, these methods alone are unlikely to elucidate the complete fundamental basis for many, if not most, undiagnosable diseases,” said Charly S. Shatter, chief of polymorphic genetics at MGMC and Head of Advanced Laboratory Investigations for NCUD. "Just last week we found a 90 year old women who had a very slight elevation in her blood pressure when we gave her massive amounts of pharmaceutical grade flavanols, which were previously derived in low concentration as a naturally occurring plant-derived bioactive compound found in cocoa beans and a variety of other foods, but we explored total laboratory synthesis and delivery in capsule form. We were able to advise her that eating a bar of chocolate every half hour for 24 hours a day for several weeks would probably affect her in the same minimally measurable way but statistically irrefutable way we detected, although we haven't yet had her complete that phase of the study because that might sound delicious but we don't want to take unnecessary risks."

With all these hospitals on board, and all the hospital boards cooperating, it will be exciting to see what comes out of NCUD and its sister Centers of Excellence. The PCAHA says that it hopes each center will gradually ramp up and be ready to see up to 50 patients a year by 2017. "We have a sense of a surge, just a few years away." reflected Dr. Newbie Green. UnNEWS. "The grant money will go to infrastructure and initiation costs, but patients will still need to be properly paid up on their ObamaCare."

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