The neurology of mitochondrial DNA disease

Lancet Neurol. 2002 Oct;1(6):343-51. doi: 10.1016/s1474-4422(02)00159-x.


In this era of "the gene and the genome", communication of complex genetic information to individuals and their families is becoming an increasingly common but difficult task for the clinician. This problem is particularly evident in the rapidly evolving field of mitochondrial disease: the clinician is faced with a diversity of clinical presentations and myriad mutations with, for many, only a loose relation between genotype and phenotype. The aim of this review is to familiarise the clinician with the main clinical syndromes encountered in practice, and to provide an overview of current concepts of mitochondrial genetics, including recent advances in molecular aetiology. In addition, we have included clinical guidance on the investigation and management of patients with suspected or proven mitochondrial disease based on our own experience over the past decade.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • DNA, Mitochondrial / chemistry
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics*
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Mitochondrial Diseases / epidemiology
  • Mitochondrial Diseases / genetics*
  • Mitochondrial Diseases / therapy
  • Nervous System Diseases / epidemiology
  • Nervous System Diseases / genetics*
  • Nervous System Diseases / therapy


  • DNA, Mitochondrial