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When does mitochondrial disease appear?

Mitochondrial disease can appear at any age. For some it appears at birth. For others it develops over time. We’re learning it’s not at all rare but, due to a lack of physician and public awareness, mitochondrial disease is not often diagnosed. Only in the past 10 years, with advances in genetics and molecular biology, do doctors have a better understanding of the complexity in mitochondrial disorders. Even so, the definitive cause (or causes) of mitochondrial disease continues to evolve. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
  • One in 2,500-3,000 people is affected by mitochondrial disease.
  • One in 2,500 is affected by cystic fibrosis.
  • One in 110 is affected by autism.
  • One in 500 is affected by Parkinson’s.
  • One in 85 is affected by Alzheimer’s.
  • One in 50,000 are affected by Leigh’s disease, a fatal form of mitochondrial disease.

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