What is Mitochondrial Disease?

By September 22, 2017

Mitochondrial disease is a group of disorders caused by dysfunctional mitochondria. Each condition is the result of a genetic mutation, in either the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) or nuclear DNA (nDNA), which results in changes in the genetic material of the mitochondria causing them to fail.

Mitochondria are the ‘power plants / batteries’ that provide our bodies with all of the energy we need to power our cells and organs in order to walk, talk, laugh, hear, digest food, and breathe.

When someone has mitochondrial disease, it means that the power plants in their cells are not working properly. It also means that they could suffer a ‘power failure’ in the organ systems that sustain life. This is a devastating disease and can be fatal.

You may have only recently heard of mitochondrial disease, but you surely have heard of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, ALS, cancer and many other more commonly recognized chronic diseases. Research tells us that mitochondrial dysfunction is at the core of these more well-known chronic diseases that affect millions of people globally.