Currently, there is no cure for Mitochondrial Disease
What are the goals of treatment?
- To alleviate symptoms
- To slow down the progression of the disease
How effective is treatment?
- Effectiveness 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 “empiric”, 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.
What are the key points of treatment
- Never forget that for some symptoms, there is already a standard treatment (anticonvulsant medication for epilepsy, physical therapy for motor problems, etc.)
- 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.
- Conserve energy
- Pace activities
- Maintain an ambient environmental temperature
- Avoid exposure to illness(this is critical)
- Ensure adequate nutrition and hydration
- Vitamins and supplements
The benefits of treatment and effectiveness of therapies vary:
- Sometimes, treatment may be beneficial and noted immediately in some disorders.
- Sometimes, the benefits of treatment may take a few months to notice.
- Sometimes, the benefits of treatment may never be noticed, but the treatment may be effective in delaying or stopping the progression of the disease.
- Sometimes, some patients may not benefit from therapy.