Home > Resources in pathology > History - Epistemology > Medical history > Medical epistemology > Medical concepts > Diseases


Wednesday 16 July 2003

A disease has a known specific cause or causes (called its etiology).

It differs from a syndrome, which is a collection of signs or symptoms that occur together. However, for historical reasons, many conditions have been identified, yet continue to be referred to as "syndromes". Furthermore, numerous conditions of unknown etiology are referred to as "diseases" in many contexts.

- List of diseases
- List of Group of diseases

See also

- classification of diseases (nosology)
- causes of diseases (etiology)
- communicable diseases (infectious diseases)
- noncommunicable diseases (non-communicable diseases)

Etiological classification

- chromosomal diseases
- genetic diseases
- infectious diseases
- dysimmunity
- environnemental diseases
- nutritional diseases

Physiopathological classification

- developmental anomalies (malformations)
- metabolic diseases
- inflammatory diseases
- tumoral diseases (Tumors)


- systemic diseases
- localized diseases (diseases of a structure)

  • diseases of systems
  • diseases of organs
  • diseases of tissues (tissular pathology)
  • diseases of cells (cellular pathology)
  • diseases of cellular organelles (cellular pathology)
  • diseases of molecules (molecular pathology)


- Wright A, Charlesworth B, Rudan I, Carothers A, Campbell H. A polygenic basis for late-onset disease. Trends Genet. 2003 Feb;19(2):97-106. PMID: 12547519

- Reich DE, Lander ES. On the allelic spectrum of human disease. Trends Genet. 2001 Sep;17(9):502-10. PMID: 11525833