Mechanism-based disease similarity

  • Yu Y
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In recent years several methods have been proposed to assign pairwise mechanism- based similarity scores to human diseases. Despite their differences in approach and performance, these methods work in a somewhat similar manner: first a set of biomolecules (genes, proteins, chemicals, etc.) is associated with each disease, and then a measure is defined to calculate the similarity between the sets assigned to a pair of diseases. Since the similarity score between two diseases is defined based on the underlying molecular processes, a high score may hint at a shared cause, and therefore a similar treatment, for both diseases. This is of great practical importance especially when a rare or newly-discovered disease, for which limited information is available, is found to be related to a disease with a known treatment. Thus, in this mini-review we briefly discuss the recently developed methods for computing mechanism-based disease- disease similarities.




Yu, Y.-K. (2016). Mechanism-based disease similarity. Journal of Rare Diseases Research & Treatment, 1(3), 1–4.

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