Human symptoms–disease network

X. Z. Zhou, J. Menche, A.-L. Barabási, A. Sharma
Nature Communications
5:4212, 1-10 (2014).
June 26, 2014


In the post-genomic era, the elucidation of the relationship between the molecular origins of diseases and their resulting phenotypes is a crucial task for medical research. Here, we use a large-scale biomedical literature database to construct a symptom-based human disease network and investigate the connection between clinical manifestations of diseases and their underlying  molecular interactions. We find that the symptom-based similarity of two  diseases correlates strongly with the number of shared genetic associations and the extent to which their associated proteins interact. Moreover, the  diversity of the clinical manifestations of a disease can be related to the  connectivity patterns of the underlying protein interaction network. The  comprehensive, high-quality map of disease-symptom relations can further be  used as a resource helping to address important questions in the field of  systems medicine, for example, the identification of unexpected associations  between diseases, disease etiology research or drug design.

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