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MELAS with Migraines and Diabetes

MELAS with Migraines and Diabetes

 

MELAS is the acronym for Mitochondrial Encephalomyopathy, Lactic Acidosis, andStroke-like episodes. MELAS affects many body's systems, especially  the brain, nervous system which is depicted in the encephalomyopathy part of the acronym. There is a clear relationship between MELAS and severe headaches, and also much evidence to support a relationship between MELAS and diabetes and vision loss (see below).

https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/mitochondrial-encephalomyopathy-lactic-acidosis-and-stroke-like-episodes. 

 

Migraines - How do migraines play into MELAS?  The brain and nervous system are clearly impacted by MELAS on the mitochondrial level. Mitochondrial are those tiny organelles in nearly every cell that work to change food (glucose) into energy that cells can use, called ATP. Any dysfunction in that process can cause a variety of symptoms in this complex organ system!  Migraines or severe headaches are common with MELAS. Other nervous system symptoms include seizures, stroke like episodes, vision issues, weakness, mobility issues and losses of intellectual function over time.  The brain uses 23% of a body’s daily energy and, therefore, with MELAS in particular, symptoms in the organ system make sense when faced with decreased energy production due to a mitochondrial disease. For publications on the relationship between MELAS and Migraines, read more here: NORD - https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/melas-syndrome/    MELAS presenting as migraine complicated by stroke: case report - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9406203 (also see below).

 

Diabetes - How does diabetes also play into MELAS?  Diabetes in now being added to the growing list of diseases that have mitochondrial dysfunction at the root of the issue for many decades! This premise was discussed in this article: Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Diabetes: From Molecular Mechanisms to Functional Significance and Therapeutic Opportunities:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2824521/ and more recently in the article titled Mitochondrial dysfunction and insulin resistance: an update: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4261703/ (See below). And here: Mitochondrial myopathy, encephalopathy, lactic acidosis and stroke-like episodes (MELAS) and diabetes mellitus: molecular genetic analysis and family study https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0022510X9390299E . The American Diabetes Association hosts this article about Mitochondrial Diabetes:http://diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/content/53/suppl_1/S103 . As far as publications that address MELAS and diabetes, I found some older articles like this one from 1993:   Mitochondrial myopathy, encephalopathy, lactic acidosis and stroke-like episodes (MELAS) and diabetes mellitus: molecular genetic analysis and family study - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8445402 .