Diseases & Conditions


MELAS Syndrome

Synonyms of MELAS Syndrome
  • Mitochondrial Myopathy, Encephalopathy, Lactic Acidosis, Stroke-Like Episod
  • Myopathy, Mitochondrial-Encephalopathy-Lactic Acidosis-Stroke

Disorder Subdivisions

    General Discussion
    MELAS syndrome is one of a group of rare muscular disorders that are called mitochondrial encephalomyopathies. Mitochondrial encephalomyopathies are disorders in which a defect in genetic material arises from a part of the cell structure that releases energy (mitochondria) resulting in disease of the brain and muscles (encephalomyopathies). This mitochondrial defect and a condition known as ragged red fibers (an abnormality of muscle tissue when viewed under a microscope) are typically present. The most characteristic symptom of MELAS syndrome is recurring, stroke-like episodes in which sudden headaches are followed by vomiting and seizures. Short stature, an accumulation of lactic acid in the blood (lactic acidosis), and muscular weakness on one side of the body (hemiparesis) are typically present. Visual symptoms may include impaired vision or blindness in one half of the visual field (hemianopsia) and/or blindness due to lesions in the area of the brain concerned with vision (cortical blindness). Although the exact cause of MELAS syndrome is not fully understood, it has been found to run in families (familial).

    Organizations related to MELAS Syndrome
    • CLIMB (Children Living with Inherited Metabolic Diseases)
      Climb Building
      Crewe Intl CW2 6BG
      Phone #: +44- 87-0 7700 325
      800 #: --
      e-mail: info@climb.org.uk
      Home page: http://www.CLIMB.org.uk
    • Children's European Mitochondrial Disease Network
      Mayfield House
      Northwich Intl CW9 5JB
      Phone #: 44 -0 1-606 43946
      800 #: --
      e-mail: info_cmdn@btopenworld.com
      Home page: http://www.cmdn-mitonet.co.uk
    • Epilepsy Foundation
      4351 Garden City Drive
      Landover MD 20785
      Phone #: 301-459-3700
      800 #: 800-332-1000
      e-mail: postmaster@efa.org
      Home page: http://www.epilepsyfoundation.org
    • Johns, Donald R., M.D.
      Johns Hopkins Hospital
      Baltimore MD 21205
      Phone #: --
      800 #: --
      e-mail: N/A
      Home page: N/A
    • Lactic Acidosis Support Trust
      1A Whitley Close
      Cheshire None CW10 0NQ
      Phone #: 016-068-3719
      800 #: --
      e-mail: N/A
      Home page: N/A
    • MUMS (Mothers United for Moral Support, Inc) National Parent-to-Parent Network
      150 Custer Court
      Green Bay WI 54301-1243
      Phone #: 920-336-5333
      800 #: 877-336-5333
      e-mail: mums@netnet.net
      Home page: http://www.netnet.net/mums/
    • Madisons Foundation
      PO Box 241956
      Los Angeles CA 90024
      Phone #: 310-264-0826
      800 #: N/A
      e-mail: getinfo@madisonsfoundation.org
      Home page: http://www.madisonsfoundation.org
    • Mitochondrial Support Group
      5022 Michigan Avenue
      West Palm Beach FL 33415
      Phone #: 407-641-4712
      800 #: --
      e-mail: N/A
      Home page: N/A
    • Muscular Dystrophy Association
      3300 E. Sunrise Dr
      Tucson AZ 85718
      Phone #: 520-529-2000
      800 #: 800-344-4863
      e-mail: mda@mdausa.org
      Home page: http://www.mdausa.org
    • National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
      31 Center Drive
      Bethesda MD 20892-2540
      Phone #: 301-496-5751
      800 #: 800-352-9424
      e-mail: braininfo@ninds.nih.gov
      Home page: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/
    • United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation
      8085 Saltsburg Road
      Pittsburgh PA 15239
      Phone #: 412-793-8077
      800 #: --
      e-mail: info@umdf.org
      Home page: http://www.umdf.org
    • Vereniging voor Kinder met Stofwisselingsziekten
      P.O. Box 664
      Zwolle None 8000 AR
      Phone #: 313-846-61497
      800 #: --
      e-mail: vks@worldonline.nl
      Home page: http://www.worldonline.nl/~vks

    For a Complete Report

    This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc. ? (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be obtained for a small fee by visiting the NORD website. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational treatments (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, see http://www.rarediseases.org/search/rdblist.html