The term deafblindness describes a conditon that combines in varying degrees both hearing and visual impairment. Two sensory impairments multiply and intensify the impact of each other creating a severe disability which is different and unique.
All deafblind people experience problems with communication, access to information and mobility. However, their specific needs vary enormously according to age, onset and type of deafblindness.
Deafblind people are unable to use one sense to fully compensate for the impairment of the other. Thus they will require services which are different from those designed exclusively for either blind people or deaf people.
Deafblindness can be caused by many rare diseases, almost 70 of them may have among their descriptors blindness and deafness combined .Given the characteristics of these minority diseases, many times there are no specific treatments for them. Due to this fact, people suffering from rare diseases can turn to ‘Orphan Drugs‘.
Orphan drug status
Awarded to medicines that are considered vital in the treatment, prevention or diagnosis of life-threatening or chronic debilitating diseases, but are not commercially viable to produce because the disease affects fewer than 5 in 10,000 EU inhabitants. There are a number of EU incentives available to pharmaceutical companies to carry out research and development on these medicines that do not otherwise offer any financial benefit to the company.
Given that these drugs can be very difficult to access, at EDbN we have carried out a project to find equivalences between the active ingredients of different orphan drugs with elements of traditional Chinese medicine. Below you will find a table of equivalences of 12 orphan drugs.