MITOCHONDRIAL DISEASE AWARENESS WEEK-Mitochondrial Disease Educational Series- Lesson 4: Part B: Treatment

Treatment for Mitochondrial Disease

Unfortunately, at this time, there are no cures for these disorders.  Mitochondrial disease typically is a progressive disease and most children never live to adulthood. Reference 1

Goals of treatment 

The primary goal for treatment is to:

  • alleviate symptoms
  • slow down the progression of the disease

 Effectiveness of treatment

  • varies from patient to patient, depending on the exact disorder and the severity of the disorder
  • as a general rule, those with mild disorders tend to respond to treatment better than those with severe disorders
  • in some circumstances, the treatment can be tailored specifically to the patient, and that treatment is effective,
  •   whereas in other circumstance, the treatment is “emperic”, meaning that the treatment makes sense, but that the benefit of treatment is not obvious or proven to be effective
  • treatment will not reverse the damage already sustained, such as brain malformations

Benefits of Treatment and Effectiveness of Therapies Vary

  • treatment may be beneficial and noted immediately in some disorders
  • benefit of treatment may take a few months to notice
  • benefit of treatment may never be noticed, but the treatment may be effective in delaying or stopping the progression of the disease
  • some patients may not benefit from therapy

 Key Points to Treatment

  • Never forget there is standard treatment for some  symptoms (anticonvulsant medication for epilepsy, physical therapy for motor problems, etc.)
  • Dietary
  • Vitamins and supplements
  • Avoidance of stressful factors
  • Treatment must be tailored by the patient’s  physician to meet that patient’s need. Many of these therapies are totally ineffective in some mitochondrial disorders and would be a waste  of time, money and effort. In some cases, the treatment could be            dangerous.

 

This  information  has been taken directly from the Mitochondrial disease reference 1.

References:

1.  http://www.umdf.org

2.  http://www.rightdiagnosis.com/m/mitochondrial_diseases/subtypes.htm

United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation

8085   Saltsburg Road, Suite 201 | Pittsburgh, PA 15239 | Toll-Free 1-888-317-UMDF |

P 412-793-8077|F 412-793-6477 | info@umdf.org

 

3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitochondrial_disease

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