Mitochondrial Depletion Syndrome refers to a group of disorders where dysfunctional mitochondrial DNA are present, resulting in a variety of developmental, muscular and brain abnormalities. MDS is a genetic, chronic condition that is sadly progressive and can affect anyone at any time in their life. Symptoms of the disease vary hugely between individuals, but the most common symptoms are fatigue, neurological problems, visual and/or hearing impairment, heart, liver or kidney dysfunction, muscle weakness and poor growth, to name but a few. There are very few treatments for MDS and there is currently no cure.
What are mitochondria?
Mitochondria are commonly known as the ‘powerhouses of the cell’ as they are the part of the cell responsible for turning the sugars, fats and proteins we eat into energy for the body. Mitochondria produce around 90% of our cellular energy, and are essential for producing the energy that cells need to survive. They contribute in a variety of ways to ensure our well being and are central to how our bodies respond to infections, injury and how our bodies respond to changes that lead to cancer and ageing. They are essential to our survival, so when mitochondria stop working, serious diseases are the result.
There are several different types of mitochondrial disease, including, but not limited to:
- Alpers Disease
- Kearns Sayre Syndrome (KSS)
Chronic Progressive External Ophthalmoplegia (CPEO)
Leber Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (LHON)
Mitochondrial encephalopathy, lactic acidosis and stroke-like episodes (MELAS)
- Myoclonus epilepsy associated with ragged-red fibres (MERRF)
Leigh Disease or Syndrome
- Mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome
- Mitochondrial Myopathy
- Mitochondrial Encephalopathy
What can we do?
Research is of the utmost importance to us, and without research we will never be able to find better more effective treatments, and will never be able to find that all elusive cure. We’ll be investing in the most promising research projects to ensure a better, brighter future for mito sufferers. In the interim, we will support families and individuals affected by mito and you can find out more about the ways in which we help on our What do we do? page. If you want to support our work, then please visit our Fundraising and Donate pages. There is much that we can do, but there is much that needs to be done – help us on our mission to fight mitochondrial disease, because mito matters.