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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Mitochondrial encephalomyopathy lactic acidosis and stroke-like episodes


Other Names for this Disease
  • MELAS
  • MELAS syndrome
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Your Question

Is there a link between mitochondrial encephalomyopathy lactic acidosis and stroke-like episodes (MELAS) and a person who is not really strong?

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

What are the signs and symptoms of mitochondrial encephalomyopathy, lactic acidosis, and stroke-like episodes (MELAS)?

The signs and symptoms of MELAS often appear in childhood following a period of normal development. Early symptoms may include muscle weakness and pain, recurrent headaches, loss of appetite, vomiting, and seizures. Most affected individuals experience stroke-like episodes beginning before age 40. These episodes may involve temporary muscle weakness on one side of the body, altered consciousness, vision abnormalities, seizures, and severe headaches resembling migraines. Repeated stroke-like episodes can progressively damage the brain, leading to vision loss, problems with movement, and a loss of intellectual function.[1]

Many people with MELAS have a buildup of lactic acid in their bodies (lactic acidosis). This can lead to vomiting, abdominal pain, extreme fatigue, muscle weakness, and difficulty breathing. Involuntary muscle spasms, impaired muscle coordination, hearing loss, heart and kidney problems, diabetes, and hormonal imbalances may also occur.[1]

Last updated: 12/3/2013

Is there a link between mitochondrial encephalomyopathy lactic acidosis and stroke-like episodes (MELAS) and a person who is not really strong?

As mentioned above, muscle weakness and extreme fatigue are common in this condition.[1]
Last updated: 10/17/2011

References