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How do mitochondrial diseases affect the body?

A mitochondrial disorder primarily affects brain, heart and muscle in varying levels of severity. It ranges from intermittent difficulty thinking, remembering, moving and acting, to severe handicaps. Some results may be fatigue, muscle weakness and diabetes. And all this is overlaid by good and bad days caused by significant inconsistency -- like the electricity flickering in different areas of a community.
 
Leading research for effective mitochondrial disease treatments is demonstrating that there are neuropsychological impacts from the disease to cognitive development and performance. Attention problems, limited cognitive flexibility and slow processing speed and thinking are some of the more frequent noticeable manifestations from mitochondrial dysfunction.

Treatment of deficiencies with levomefolic acid (5-MTHF) can decrease many symptoms, including epilepsy, developmental delays, autistic features and even symptoms involved in chronic fatigue syndrome and other myalgias.

Because mitochondrial diseases stem from the part of the cell that generates energy, the diseases themselves tend to affect the parts of the body that require the most energy. The heart and lungs, which require much energy for pumping blood and breathing, the muscles, which require energy for movement, and the brain, which requires energy for numerous capacities, all tend to be affected most often by various mitochondrial diseases. Stroke-like symptoms, diabetes, kidney or liver problems, vision problems, and a variety of other ailments can also result from mitochondrial diseases. However, the severity of the impact on the various parts of the body can vary.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.