Parliamentary Question | Booth, Myhill and McLaren-Howard mitochondrial dysfunction study | 17 July 2012

July 18, 2012


In a written question, the Countess of Mar asked the Government – further to the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 25 June – what assessment they have made of the findings recently published in the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine on mitochondrial dysfunction; and whether mitochondrial dysfunction occurs in any medical conditions other than chronic fatigue syndrome or myalgic encephalomyelitis.

Earl Howe, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Health, replied on 17 July 2012:

We have made no assessment of this study, which looks at mitochondrial function in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis.

Mitochondrial disease affects all organ systems and mitochondrial dysfunction has been increasingly linked with a number of neurological conditions including stroke, seizures, ataxia, migraine and Parkinson's disease. There is also an association between mitochondrial dysfunction and a number of retinal degenerations, including diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration, as well as in some cardiac conditions such as cardiomyopathy or conduction defects.

The most common condition related to mitochondrial dysfunction in the endocrine system is diabetes and adult onset diabetes has been found to have a mitochondrial component.

Abstract of the study. The full text can also be downloaded.

3 thoughts on “Parliamentary Question | Booth, Myhill and McLaren-Howard mitochondrial dysfunction study | 17 July 2012”

  1. One cannot fail to notice that every illness mentioned by the Big Wig is looked after by the NHS – except, guess what, ME.
    Discrimination, pure and simple.

  2. I fail to see the importance of this question. What should have been asked is when are you going to publish your assesment of the study and if you have no plans to do so why not. When are you going to stop financing psychobabble studies would be another. Another very important question is why they are not funding research using clinically validated tests for mitochondria dysfunction which they use in other diseases where it is acquired. Tests for hereditary dysfunction are not indicated and will miss this type of failure.

    I would also be very interested to know why the minister felt there was a need to talk about “mitochondrial dysfunction in the endocrine system” as opposed to continuing with “Mitochondrial disease affects all organ systems”. Are they to recognise the dysfunction in the endocrine system in ME and ignore the dysfunction in all other organs, including the brain? What is this agenda?

  3. The Countess of Mar is relentlessly chipping away on many fronts to expose the many wrongs inflicted upon us.
    Hopefully she will soon be in a position to launch a final all out assault on the Government’s abuse of M.E. patients.

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