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Fighting mito,
finding hope.

All about mito

What’s mitochondrial disease?

Here’s Bill Nighy to explain in a little more detail what mitochondrial disease is.

Mito is a rare inherited disorder. Our mitochondria are essentially the tiny organelles within our cells that generate most of the energy we require to function.

Without healthy mitochondria, cells cannot function properly and the results can be debilitating and eventually life-ending.

Mitochondrial disease is a complex and difficult-to-diagnose condition that affects people in very different ways. It often affects babies and young children, and the long-term prognosis for sufferers is poor.

What are the symptoms of mitochondrial disease?

Mitochondrial disorders affect people in multiple ways, depending on which cells are affected. This can make the condition hard to diagnose, as mitochondrial disease symptoms often resemble those of other serious illnesses. For example, a person with mito disease may suffer from seizures, fatigue, vision and hearing loss, cognitive disabilities, respiratory problems or poor growth. Any of the body’s organs and systems can be affected including the brain, heart, lungs, gut, liver and skin. Examples of inherited mitochondrial disorders include MELAS syndrome, Leigh syndrome and Leber’s disease (LHON). For more information about these and other mitochondrial diseases see our list of the different types of mitochondrial syndromes.

Is there a cure for mitochondrial disease?

There is currently no cure for mitochondrial disorders, but The Lily Foundation are working hard to change that. Important steps have been made to make diagnosis faster, easier and less invasive for patients, and some promising research into effective mitochondrial disease treatments is underway. The more we learn about genetic mitochondrial dysfunction, the closer we will be to one day finding a cure.

Want to learn more about mitochondrial disease?

Head to the ‘Patients & Professionals’ side of our site where you’ll find the most frequently asked questions and answers about this inherited disorder.

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