Medical Report: What is Mitochondrial Disease Awareness Week?

Mitochondria under microscope
Mitochondria under microscope Photo credit Getty Images

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A mitochondrial disease is a group of diseases where the mitochondria don’t work properly in the body. You may remember from high school biology that the mitochondria are the powerhouse of our cells, and in some cases, people have a genetic issue that impacts the way mitochondria work.

This leads to numerous symptoms, including poor growth, muscle weakness and low muscle tone. Other symptoms include seizures, severe headaches and developmental delays.

About one in 5,000 children have a mitochondrial disease, and it can run in families. Lifestyle modification and close followups by experts can improve survival and quality of life, but it is important that the diagnosis is made early.

Get more medical reports from Dr. Brian McDonough.

​​KYW Newsradio’s Medical Reports are sponsored by Independence Blue Cross.

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