Mitochondria & Neuromuscular Disease

Mitochondria are often referred to as the powerhouses of the cells. They generate the energy that our cells need to do their jobs.

Defects of mitochondria cause a number of genetic disease and patients present at any age with a number of different symptoms. These patients often worsen over time and there is no specific cure for the majority. Mitochondria are also involved in ageing and age-related diseases. Studies in numerous different human tissues have shown the presence of mitochondrial defects with age. In addition, certain age related diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and inclusion body myositis have very prominent mitochondrial abnormalities.

The objective of the Biomedical Research Centre’s mitochondrial theme is to develop treatments acting at the mitochondrial level. Any treatments developed will be beneficial not only for patients with primary mitochondrial disease, but also for age-related common diseases where mitochondrial mechanisms play an important role.

We address important questions relating to mitochondrial involvement in the ageing brain with particular emphasis on neuro degeneration. We assess the benefit of exercise and physical activity for patients with chronic diseases, understand mechanisms and develop new therapies for age related muscle diseases and sarcopenia. We also develop clinical trials of agents which improve mitochondrial function or increase mitochondrial biogenesis.

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