• Question: Is it possible that some diseases could be incurable?

    Asked by codfissh to Reka, Laura, Judith, Hannah on 11 Jan 2019.
    • Photo: Reka Nagy

      Reka Nagy answered on 11 Jan 2019:

      Tough to say, since it’s a question about not knowing what we don’t know!

      There are currently many diseases out there for which we do not yet have a treatment or cure, usually because we do not have enough of an understanding of what causes that disease. But this means that with more research, more treatments will become available.

      However, if there are some diseases out there whose causes seem to be totally random, we might not be able to figure out exactly WHAT it is that causes them, and without that, treatments or cures might not be possible.

    • Photo: Judith Sleeman

      Judith Sleeman answered on 15 Jan 2019: last edited 15 Jan 2019 3:43 pm

      Hard to say: we need to understand what causes a disease before we can even attempt to cure it and there are so many that we don’t understand properly yet. The increase in antibiotic resistance in bacteria is a major concern, though, as we may soon find that diseases we thought were trivial to cure are a major threat again. We need to keep researching.

    • Photo: Laura Nolan

      Laura Nolan answered on 23 Jan 2019:

      I think, as Reka and Judith said, that diseases are usually only incurable because we don’t know enough about what causes the disease itself. If we can figure this out then it is possible that there could be a treatment, but if we can’t then they will remain incurable. I work on trying to figure out new ways that we can combat antibiotic resistance which is a major issue, so I mainly know about diseases associated with bacterial infections. With the current rising levels of antibiotic resistance in many bacteria we will see more and more infections, that were previously easily treatable with antibiotics, being incurable – unless we can very quickly figure out new ways to treat bacterial infections! Lots of people are working on this though so hopefully we will make some breakthroughs soon to tip the incurable more towards curable for these diseases!