MITO 101

 

Mitochondria are our bodies' batteries. They give us energy. Think about how well your phone works when the batteries are bad.... Not great!

 

Mitochondria, as our batteries, take the food that we eat and the air that we breathe, and turn it into energy.  Think back to highschool science class.  Remember ATP energy and cellular respiration?   If the science isn't coming back to you, no worries. I explain below, minus the science.  

 

Mitochondrial disease is a progressive incurable metabolic disorder that causes a deficit in life sustaining energy. Whaaat?

 

That means there is a shortage in the energy it takes to make the body work properly and keep it alive, and it gets worse over time.

 

Because it requires energy not only to run and play, but to think, digest food, pump blood, and breathe, every muscle and organ can be effected. 

 

 

Just as cancers can range in terms of type and severity, there are a variety of mitochondrial diseases. 

 

 

The mortality rate among children with mitochondrial disease varies from 10 to 50 percent per year. Most children do not survive beyond their teen years. 

 

 

Simple infections can turn healthy periods into life-threatening ones and cause irreversible damage to organs like the heart, brain, and lungs. The child with mito is at highest risk during and for the two weeks following an illness. A flu or cold virus can have devastating effects on the patient, even death. 

 

The first case of mitochondrial disease was diagnosed in an adult in the 1960's and in the pediatric population in the 1980's.

 

Medical researchers have determined that 1 in 4000 children will develop a mitochondrial disease by age 10. 

 

While not mitochondrial disease, dysfunction of the mitochondria has been connected with ALS, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, Autism, MS, autoimnume disorders, and many others. Mitochondrial research could impact countless people who suffer from a myriad of diagnoses. 

 

There is no cure for mitochondrial disease......yet.

 

YOU can help spread awareness that could lead to a cure! Talk about mitochondrial disease. Use the words.  Post the words. Spread the word about mito! Awareness is our best shot a cure.