You say disease, I say disorder. Tomato, tomahto... Whilst often used interchangeably, the terms disease and disorder are markedly different in terms of meaning. Disease usually refers to a specific pathological process accompanied by a characteristic set of signs and symptoms. The term disorder refers to abnormality of physical or mental function. This lecture is intended as a primer in the history and treatment of medical diseases and disorders. In it, we will explore a variety of diseases, disorders and cures, past, present and future. From leprosy, plague, diphtheria and cholera to HIV, cancer, schizophrenia and Alzheimer's, a range of problems will be explored. We will consider Hippocratean and Galenic theories of disease, moving to the molecular genetics and medical biology of the 21st century. We introduce recent developments in pharmacotherapy and neuroimmunology and think about the promises of genomic medicine tailored to the individual. This will be an informative and fascinating trip through social and scientific history, providing a glimpse of things to come.