Oakville, ON, September 29, 2017 – Imagine a large metropolitan city illuminated by millions of bright lights that allow us to navigate the streets, light our homes, and generally enjoy the night. Now imagine a massive, systemic power outage that leaves the entire city in darkness and the cause is unknown. This is what happens in our bodies when the power supply in our cells fails. It’s called mitochondrial disease and the consequences can be catastrophic.
Mitochondria are microscopic, energy-producing structures that are essential to our health. These organelles, numbering in the trillions, live within almost every cell in our bodies and are responsible for creating more than 90% of the energy needed to support organ function and to sustain. Organs requiring the most energy, such as our brains, hearts, muscles and digestive tracts are most-often impacted and the results are devastating. Mitochondrial disease can happen to anyone at any time. Today, there is no cure and only limited treatment options.
On September 29th, the MitoCanada Foundation is presenting MITO2017, this country’s first national mitochondrial disease conference. The event brings together a diverse group of stakeholders including patients, family members, researchers and clinicians to share knowledge, experiences and questions. The goal of the meeting is to set priorities and formulate a national research agenda aimed at increasing the understanding of mitochondrial dysfunction in order to predict, prevent and treat disease.
A highlight of the conference is the launch of mitoNET.ca, Canada’s best hope for solving diseases caused by the impairment of the body’s ability to generate energy. mitoNET.ca will establish a critical mass of research-oriented scientists and clinicians working within Canada’s academic institutions and with MitoCanada’s patient community. The network will lead to new discoveries and facilitate knowledge sharing and translation to impact the quality of life for anyone living with mitochondrial disease and uncover the role of mitochondrial dysfunction among several illnesses. “Today we are proud to announce the launch of mitoNET.ca,” says Dr. Ana Andreazza. “This new network will enhance expertise in mitochondrial dysfunction with the ultimate goal of improving the diagnosis, management and prognosis for persons with mitochondrial dysfunction. Our network is disease agnostic and unites researchers from different medical fields with a common interest in unveiling the role of mitochondrial function and genetics in human disease.” For more information, visit the network’s website at www.mitonet.ca.
MITO2017, with support from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), The Hospital for Sick Children, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and the McLaughlin Centre, has attracted national and international experts for a series of presentations and panel discussions. “As a founding partner of mitoNET.ca, MitoCanada hopes to see acceleration in the development of new treatments for Canadians living with mitochondrial disease.” says David Mosher, Board Chair at the MitoCanada Foundation. Mosher’s daughter was diagnosed with mitochondrial disease early in her childhood and has been challenged by several serious medical issues throughout her life.
About MitoCanada Foundation
MitoCanada Foundation is Canada’s only not-for-profit organization focused on mitochondrial disease. The foundation’s mission is to transform the outlook for persons facing a diagnosis of mitochondrial disease/dysfunction. We are committed to seeing strategies put in place to increase awareness of mitochondrial disease and dysfunction: being Canada’s resource for information and support for individuals, families and caregivers; and the clinical communities that serve them; and, advancing research into the diagnosis, care, treatment and cure for mitochondrial disease.
For more information about MitoCanada Foundation, please visit www.MitoCanada.org
Executive Director, MitoCanada Foundation
Dr. Ana Andreazza http://www.pharmtox.utoronto.ca/faculty-ana-cristina-andreazza-phd
Dr. Mark Tarnopolsky https://fhs.mcmaster.ca/medicine/neurology/faculty_member_tarnopolsky.htm