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Dysautonomia: Troublesome symptoms for Mito patients

April 2008

This month, MitoAction welcomes Dr. David Holtzman to our international toll-free teleconference to discuss "dysautonomia".

Dysautonomia is a failure of the autonomic nervous system to regulate certain body functions, such as heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, respiration, digestion, etc. The dysautonomia information network ( offers information about several types of dysautonomia, including POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome). Experienced by many people with mitochondrial disease, POTS is basically a dramatic increase in heart rate upon standing, and may result in dizziness, nausea, and other uncomfortable symptoms.

Many adults and children with mitochondrial disorders experience such symptoms related to dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system. Symptoms may be puzzling, such as abnormal sweating or body temperatures, or may affect quality of life. For some people, constant nausea, dizziness, gut cramping, etc. is extraordinarily challenging.

Warmer temperatures and weather changes in the spring may prompt temperature regulation difficulties for people with Mito. Often parents of children with mitochondrial disorders and adults living with the disease may not recognize that the symptoms could be related to dysautonomia.

David Holtzman, MD is a pediatric neurologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Assistant Professor in Neurology at Harvard Medical School, and sits on the MitoAction Medical Advisory Committee. Dr. Holtzman will discuss the basics of dysautonomia and common symptoms for people affected by mitochondrial disease, as well as answer questions from the group.

Each first Friday of the month we have a free, international meeting by telephone for all mitochondrial disease patients, parents, caregivers, friends and community.

We hold these meetings by toll-free conference call so that the meeting will be accessible to all. We welcome you to join us!

Friday April 4, 2008
Noon (eastern time)
by toll-free international teleconference
dial 1-866-414-2828, enter participant code 017921#

No RSVP required. An audio recording of the meeting will be available following the meeting.

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