What is the Cause and Treatment of Mitochondrial Disease in Children?

CME WebsitesChild Development, Special Needs Diagnoses

Inside body cells are tiny little parts called mitochondria (as many as 1,000 per cell). The mitochondria make the energy the cells need to grow and do their work in the body. If the mitochondria are damaged or malfunctioning, the cells cannot carry out their functions.

Causes of Mitochondrial Disease in Children

Mitochondrial disease is usually a genetic condition that runs in families.

Mitochondrial Disease Symptoms

  • 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

Mitochondrial Disease Treatment

The treatment your child needs will depend on his or her specific needs.
A doctor who specializes in metabolic diseases can decide the best way to reduce symptoms, delay the progression, or even prevent the progression of the disease.

Your child’s treatment might include:

  • Vitamin and enzyme therapies
  • Occupational and physical therapy
  • Diet therapy

Where Can I Get More Information?

The United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation
8085 Saltsburg Road, Suite 201
Pittsburgh, PA 15239
1-888-317-UMDF (8633)
E-mail info@umdf.org
Website: www.umdf.org

National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD)
P.O. Box 1968 (55 Kenosia Avenue)
Danbury, CT 06813-1968
Tel: 203-744-0100
Voice Mail 800-999-NORD (6673)
Fax: 203-798-2291
E-mail orphan@rarediseases.org
Website: http://www.rarediseases.org