Monday, September 19, 2011

Mito Awareness Week…

This is the time of the year when you will see things about mitochondrial disease. You will see the posting on what it is and how it affects. I am having a hard time because it isn’t just a week to me it is a life. It is Zachary’s Life, it was Zachary’s Life. It was something that we lived for almost 4 years and that took his life. Mito isn’t something that ever leaves our mind. Zachary had mito, mito didn’t have him. He is in Heaven now doing all the things that he couldn’t do here on earth. I strive to be involved in those lives that want me to be involved. There is no treatment and no Cure for mito. It can look very different in every case. There isn’t a standard on what happens or what it should be treated as. Each case of mito is as unique as the person that it touches.

What is Mitochondrial Disease?

• Mitochondrial disease is a chronic, genetic disorder that occurs when the mitochondria of the cell fails to produce enough energy for cell or organ function.

• The incidence about 1:3000-4000 individuals in the US. This is similar to the incidence of cystic fibrosis of caucasian births in the U.S.

• There are many forms of mitochondrial disease.

• Mitochondrial disease is inherited in a number of different ways

• Mitochondrial disease presents very differently from individual to individual.

• There may be one individual in a family or many individuals affected over a number of generations

What are the Symptoms of Mitochondrial Disease?

The severity of mitochondrial disease symptoms is different from person to person. The most common symptoms are:

• Poor Growth

• Loss of muscle coordination, muscle weakness

• Neurological problems, seizures

• Autism, autistic spectrum, autistic-like features

• Visual and/or hearing problems

• Developmental delays, learning disabilities

• Heart, liver or kidney disease

• Gastrointestinal disorders, severe constipation

• Diabetes

• Increased risk of infection

• Thyroid and/or adrenal dysfunction

• Autonomic dysfunction

• Neuropsychological changes characterized by confusion, disorientation and memory loss.

How common are mitochondrial diseases?

• About one in 4,000 children in the United States will develop mitochondrial disease by the age of 10 years.

• One thousand to 4,000 children per year in the United Sates are born with a type of mitochondrial disease.

• In adults, many diseases of aging have been found to have defects of mitochondrial function.

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