Program Aims to Help Diagnose Certain Rare Diseases More Quickly

According to a story from PR Newswire, a new program called The Lantern Project is working to provide a free testing program that allow doctors to more quickly diagnose patients that suffer from certain types of rare genetic disorders called lyososmal storage diseases. The project will help streamline the diagnostic process so that treatment can begin more quickly.

Diagnosis Isn’t Easy

One of the biggest challenges in treating many rare diseases is actually diagnosing them in the first place. Many rare diseases are difficult to detect because they may have, vague, nondescript symptoms that can easily be confused for more common ailments. In fact, there are many rare diseases whose symptoms appear to mimic more common diseases. While the speed of diagnosis can vary from disease to disease, in many cases it may take years of confusion and frustrating visits to the doctor before an accurate diagnosis is made.

Dire Consequences

Many patients also go undiagnosed precisely because of this issue. Not to mention the fact that years, months, of even weeks of delay can have major consequences for patients. Many long term, progressive illnesses become more and more difficult to treat as time goes on and in some cases it can be too late for treatment to be effective if the delay is long enough. Prompt intervention is often paramount in order to achieve the best treatment outcomes for patients.

The Lantern Project

The Lantern Project was put together by Sanofi Genzyme alongside PerkinElmer Genomics. The project will be able to help physicians diagnose a substantial number of rare diseases, such as Niemann-Pick disease type A and B, Gaucher disease, mucopolysaccharidosis type I, Pompe disease, Fabry disease, other forms of mucopolysaccharidosis, and limb girdle muscular dystrophy.

Lysosomal storage diseases are often a challenge to diagnose based off of symptoms alone. This is because the progression of the disease and the overall severity of symptoms can vary substantially from person to person. These diseases can also appear at almost any time, from early life to adulthood.

It is clear that The Lantern Project will be a valuable asset to doctors that will allow them to diagnose patients earlier and begin treatment more quickly and effectively. To learn more about The Lantern Project, click here.

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