The prognosis and pathway for any mitochondrial patient is hard to predict as it is an illness that can strike many parts of the body to varying degrees.

As mentioned earlier, combinations of symptoms differ greatly even in those with exactly the same genetic defect.


 Individual prognoses are best discussed with your own doctor.

For children to develop the illness, it means they have a high load of abnormal mitochondria. Hence, the illness tends to progress more quickly than in adults and with a poorer prognosis. The older a person is when symptoms occur, the slower the progression and the better the prognosis. People who develop symptoms late in life are often not diagnosed at all and will pass away from other unrelated illnesses.

Individual symptoms will cause corresponding disability with progression of the illness. Poor mobility, poor coordination, weakness and fatigue can sometimes create a need for a walking frame or a wheelchair. Hearing loss is often helped by hearing aids or a cochlear implant in severe cases. Some visual symptoms may be alleviated by surgery but complete/ incomplete blindness will require visual aids.

Some patients find they need the help of a carer or some home-help. The local hospital can often provide appropriate services by allied health professionals. A health professional such as a social worker, occupational therapist, speech therapist, and physiotherapist, with their access to a variety of equipment, home aids and services, can help the mitochondrial patient cope better with daily life.