Interim Report January – June 2018
The mitochondria can be considered as the engine and energy source of cells. The mitochondria give us the amount of energy we need to move, grow and think. Mitochondria also play a crucial role in protecting the cells of the body against various types of damage, in traumatic brain injury, for example.
Mitochondrial disorders can occur when the mitochondria do not function properly. These diseases can express in a variety of ways. Sometimes, the symptoms express in just one organ, but there are often several organs or organ systems involved. Primary mitochondrial disorders are caused by congenital genetic variants. Many common diseases have also been linked to altered mitochondrial function, and in acute injury organ damage, mitochondrial status can determine whether cells survive or die.
Mitochondrial medicine has recently advanced beyond research/development to the first approved pharmaceutical for children with a hereditary form of mitochondrial eye disorder. Despite these advances, there is an enormous amount still to do in the mitochondrial segment.