Does Mitochondrial Dysfunction Finally Connect the Diverse Medical Symptoms We Now See in Children With Various Health Problems?

By Alyssa Davi, Parent Advocate What is mitochondrial disease and why may it be important to my child with developmental delay, low tone, GI problems, seizures, feeding problems, failure to gain weight, autism, diabetes or neuro-psychiatric symptoms? Research connecting mitochondrial disease and many diverse medical problems is increasing.  Dr. James Anderson, the Director of Program Coordination at the National Institute of Health (NIH) stated that the NIH currently funds more than half a billion dollars in mitochondrial research. Researchers are linking mitochondrial disease with everything from diabetes, autism, mood disorders, bi-polar disorder, schizophrenia, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and even some cancers. Why would mitochondrial disease be involved in such a vast array of disorders?  The United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation states, Mitochondrial diseases are not one disease, but a group of metabolic diseases.  These diseases result from failures of the mitochondria, specialized organelles present in almost every cell of the body Mitochondria are responsible for providing more than 90% of the energy needed…