Mitochondrial Disease

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by amypereira
Last updated 6 years ago

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Mitochondrial Disease

Mitochondrial Disease



Although there is no specific treatment for any of the mitochondrial myopathies, physical therapy may extend the range of movement of muscles and improve dexterity. Vitamin therapies such as riboflavin, coenzyme Q, and carnitine (a specialized amino acid) may provide subjective improvement in fatigue and energy levels in some patients.

•About one in 2,000 children in the United States will develop mitochondrial disease by the age of 10 years.•1,000 to 4,000 children per year in the United States are born with a type of mitochondrial disease.

Mitochondrial diseases result from failures of the mitochondria, specialized compartments present in every cell of the body except red blood cells. Mitochondria are responsible for creating more than 90% of the energy needed by the body to sustain life and support growth. When they fail, less and less energy is generated within the cell. Cell injury and even cell death follow. If this process is repeated throughout the body, whole systems begin to fail, and the life of the person in whom this is happening is severely compromised. The disease primarily affects children, but adult onset is becoming more and more common.


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