Teaming up to treat mitochondrial disorders
Mitochondria are the powerhouse of the human body. They are present in every human organ and are responsible for cellular energy production. As a result, mitochondrial disorders can involve one or many organ systems and are often difficult to diagnose and treat. Examples of mitochondrial disorders include Alpers disease, mitochondrial encephalopathy, lactic acidosis and stroke-like episodes (MELAS), Leigh syndrome myoclonic epilepsy with ragged red fibers (MERRF), among others. Caring for people with mitochondrial disorders requires complex management with a variety of specialty providers and services. We are pleased to announce the opening of a multidisciplinary mitochondrial clinic at Cook Children's with the goal of streamlining the complex care required for these conditions using a team-based approach. The medical staff for the clinic includes a metabolic geneticist, Peter Leahy, M.D., physiatrist Kristen Taylor, D.O., and neurologist Rebecca Luke, D.O., supported by Case Management and Physical Therapy, with the potential to include other clinical specialists depending on the needs of our patients. Each patient will be followed for their specific diagnosis, focusing on the unique needs of the individual, whether it is surveillance and monitoring for complications or symptomatic management.
The clinic currently accepts patients with a known mitochondrial diagnosis to provide coordinated clinical management. Patients with high suspicion for a mitochondrial diagnosis, but without formal diagnosis, will be considered on a case-by-case basis following a comprehensive review of records. This new clinical service will provide increased access to tailored therapies, as well as allow us to collaborate with similar clinics worldwide to increase research into these rare disorders. Referrals to the Cook Children's Mitochondrial Disorders Clinic can be made by calling 682-885-2500.