Mitochondrial diseases can affect any organ in the body and at any age.
Many mitochondrial diseases are so new that they have not yet been mentioned in the medical textbooks or in to the medical literature. Due to unpredictable epigenetic and genetic and genotypic and phenotypic mito-nuclear relationship these diseases are collectively named as “mystondria” (mysterious diseases of mitochondria).
Mitochondrial diseases are severely debilitating, often fatal and characteristically complex in nature. They are inherited through the mother, but can also be inherited from either parent. They can also be sporadic or induced by the environment.
In the United States, more than 50 million adults suffer from diseases in which mitochondrial dysfunction is involved. Mitochondrial dysfunction is found in diseases as diverse as cancer, infertility, diabetes, heart diseases, blindness deafness, kidney disease, liver disease, stroke, migraine, and the toxicity of HIV and other drugs. Mitochondrial dysfunction is also involved in aging and neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson and Alzheimer dementia.
It is estimated that of the 4 million children born each year in the United States, up to 4000 develop mitochondrial diseases.