What is Mitochondrial Disease?

What is Mitochondrial Disease?

It’s a genetic disorder affecting your mitochondria – or mito for short. They’re the ‘battery packs’ in each cell which then fail to make energy properly. This causes fatigue and also damage to your body, especially the parts that need most energy like your major organs.

There are many genetic defects which can impact your mitochondria – some known and some unknown – and that’s why it can take so many different forms and affect people in so many different ways, and at different ages.

Mitochondrial disease is progressive and can be life-limiting. Currently there is no cure.

Although mitochondrial disease is quite rare – affecting 1 in around 4000 people – mitochondrial dysfunction is suspected to be linked to common illnesses such as cancer and dementia. In fact, up to 10 million people in the UK alone are thought to be affected in some way. So finding a cure could help so many others too.

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