UC San Diego Mitochondrial Research Fund

Our mission is to raise money for UC San Diego Metabolic and Mitochondrial Disease Clinic’s research to enable Dr. Naviaux and his team to search for a treatment, and ultimately a cure, for children and young adults suffering from mitochondrial disease.

What Is Mitochondrial Disease?

Mitochondrial disease results from failures of the mitochondria, the organelles responsible for more than 90 percent of all energy needed to sustain life and support growth. When these fail, the cell produces less energy resulting in cell injury and death. When this process occurs throughout the body, whole systems fail, compromising the body’s ability to sustain life.

Symptoms

vary between individuals but can include:

  • Loss of motor control • Muscle weakness and pain
  • Difficulty swallowing • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Stunted growth • Heart and liver disease
  • Diabetes • Respiratory complications
  • Seizures • Visual / Hearing impairments
  • Developmental delays • Susceptibility to infection

Mito Facts

  • Children with mitochondrial disease (MD) have a 50 percent chance of living past age 10; only 20 percent live to age 20.
  • Every 30 minutes a child is born who will develop MD by age 10.
  • Mitochondrial dysfunction has been linked to many other diseases including Autism, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, Alzheimers, cancer, obesity and infertility.
  • Over 50 million Americans suffer from these diseases and disorders. If a cure is found for MD, all of these diseases/disorders will benefit.


 



UC San Diego Doctors at Work

Of all the critical research taking place in medicine, mitochondrial medicine is the fastest growing area. Mitochondrial disease is widely recognized as one of the most important new areas of study in medicine — not only because it affects children with genetic disease, but because it can be implicated in virtually all chronic illnesses associated with aging, and many autoimmune diseases. By looking for better treatments of mitochondrial disease in children, we can better treat common adult diseases as well.


 

In a recent paper by UC San Diego Physician-Scientist Dr. Robert Naviaux, he explains why children with mitochondrial disease have numerous complications with infections, how to prevent these complications with new kinds of early intervention, and how mitochondrial dysfunction lies at the heart of many of the most prevalent chronic diseases known to medicine — including diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.