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Answers From Experts & Organizations (1)

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Mitochondrial myopathies are a group of neuromuscular diseases caused by damage to the mitochondria -- -small, energy-producing structures that serve as the cells' "power plants." Nerve cells in the brain and muscles require a great deal of energy, and thus appear to be particularly damaged when mitochondrial dysfunction occurs. Some of the more common mitochondrial myopathies include Kearns-Sayre syndrome, myoclonus epilepsy with ragged-red fibers, and mitochondrial encephalomyopathy with lactic acidosis and stroke-like episodes. The symptoms of mitochondrial myopathies include:

  • Muscle weakness or exercise intolerance.
  • Heart failure or rhythm disturbances.
  • Dementia.
  • Movement disorders.
  • Stroke-like episodes.
  • Deafness.
  • Blindness.
  • Droopy eyelids.
  • Limited mobility of the eyes.
  • Vomiting.
  • Seizures.

The prognosis for these disorders ranges in severity from progressive weakness to death. Most mitochondrial myopathies occur before the age of 20, and often begin with exercise intolerance or muscle weakness. During physical activity, muscles may become easily fatigued or weak. Muscle cramping is rare, but may occur. Nausea, headache, and breathlessness are also associated with these disorders.

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Read the Original Article: Mitochondrial Disease

Answers from Contributors (1)

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I have Mitochondrial  encephalomyopathy with lactic acidosis with stroke-like episodes. AKA - MELAS.  It killed my 21 year old daughter, 11 years ago- TODAY!  She had a stroke- like episode, it put her in a coma , for 3 months. When she woke up, she had lost her sight, hearing, and couldn't walk , talk  or eat for months. It also damaged her heart and lungs. In 1998 it was hard to determined, but now it can be Measured by percentage, in your urine and blood. It is passed within the mitochondrial of the  females and only carried by the males. So your daughters will have it and pass it to their daughters , but the male children just have the gene, usually a very low percentage, but do not pass it. I have hearing loss, vision loss due to cataracts , leg cramps, fatigue , migraines, diabetes, and muscle pain. All because of MELAS. There is no cure, and no effective treatment. Watch for rapid weight loss,extreme fatigue, mood changes, joint and muscle pain, leg cramps, usually thought to be chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia. It's not!  Don't stop looking until you get the correct diagnosis , I didn't but , it was too late. 

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