Stay Up to Date! Like us on Facebook  and Twitter  for the latest news and announcements    

Awareness Week: Resource Toolkit

Awareness Week Press release: Personalize the release with your story and send it to your local newspaper

Click here to download the Mito Fact Sheet and share!

Mito facts

  • Mitochondrial disease is a chronic, progressive disorder that occurs when the mitochondria of the cell cannot produce enough energy for cell or organ function.
  • Mitochondrial disease is defined as the result of either inherited or spontaneous mutations in mtDNA or nDNA which lead to altered function of the proteins or RNA molecules that normally reside in mitochondria.
  • Mitochondrial disease can be inherited from a person’s mother (mtDNA), from both parents (nDNA), can occur spontaneously, or may result from exposure to toxins, medications, or other environmental triggers.
  • There are about 40 mutations in the mtDNA and 300 mutations in the nDNA that have been identified and linked to mitochondrial disease. However, it is likely there are many more that have yet to be discovered.
  • Estimates suggest that 1 in 4,000 people will face a diagnosis of mitochondrial disease.
  • Adults get mitochondrial disease, too, although for many years Mito was thought to be a “childhood” disorder. Some adults may have had “soft signs” of Mito their entire lives, while others may experience a sudden onset. Sometimes adult patients can identify an event that seemed to trigger the onset of their symptoms, such as a major illness, surgery, or pregnancy.
  • Mitochondrial disease symptoms differ from person to person and can first appear in infants, children, teens, or adults. Common symptoms include poor growth, loss of muscle coordination, muscle weakness and pain, seizures, vision and/or hearing loss, gastrointestinal issues, learning disabilities, and heart, liver, or kidney failure.
  • Mitochondrial disease symptoms affect many different organ systems. The neurologic, digestive, musculoskeletal, and cardiovascular systems are most commonly affected.
  • Mitochondrial disease is related to autism, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
  • A common misunderstanding is that these disorders are a singular disease, rather than a category. Patients can suffer from a variety of disorders, and still be considered to have a mitochondrial disease. A challenge facing those affected by Mito is the fact that multiple people in a family can have Mito, and may not know it, due to the difficulties associated with diagnosis.  Lack of awareness and understanding of Mito may lead to misdiagnosis of symptoms.
  • The combination of supplements, antioxidants, vitamins, and co-factors that improve mitochondrial function are called the Mito Cocktail. Exercise, nutrition, hydration, and energy conservation are as important as the Cocktail in the overall management of mitochondrial disease.