Mitochondria are responsible for producing most of the energy that’s needed for our cells to function. A mitochondrial disease can cut off this essential energy supply by shutting down some or all the mitochondria.
Muscular and neurological problems such as muscle weakness, exercise intolerance, trouble with balance and coordination, and seizures are common features of mitochondrial disease, because muscle cells and nerve cells have such high energy needs.
A person with mitochondrial disease can have a unique mixture of healthy and defective mitochondria, along with a unique distribution in the body, so symptoms vary for every patient. When muscular problems are prominent, it is called a mitochondrial myopathy.
Information provided by the Muscular Dystrophy Association.