|WHAT IS IT?
Mitochondrial diseases result from failures of the mitochondria, which are specialized compartments present in almost every cell in the body. They are responsible for creating more than 90 percent of the energy needed by the body to sustain life and support growth.
Mitochondria are composed of tiny packages of enzymes that turn nutrients into energy.
When mitochondria fail, less energy is generated within the cell and can lead to the death of the cell. If this process is repeated on a large scale throughout the body, whole systems in the body begin to fail.
Symptoms may include poor growth, loss of motor control, muscle weakness, gastro-intestinal disorders, reflux and swallowing difficulties, cardiac disease, liver disease, diabetes, respiratory complications visual or hearing problems, susceptibility to infection, developmental delay, learning disabilities or retardation, seizures and lactic acidosis.
Source: United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation