I’ve been reading everything I can get my hands on about Mitochondrial Myopathy, and I’ve added several links to resources in the right sidebar. But the best lay explanation of what’s going on in Mitochondrial Diseases is a pdf from Cleveland Clinic called Mitoland.
I have the kind of Mitochondrial Disease that is caused by defects in the mtDNA, so it is 100% inherited from my mother. ALL mtDNA is inherited only from the mother. I’m an only child, but Mama would have inherited it from her mother, my grandmother. My mother was diagnosed with Parkinson’s at one point and was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in later years. One of her brothers died of ALS, and her other brother died fairly young of a heart attack. Her mother, my great grandmother, died of cancer. I can’t help but wonder if all these family members on my mother’s side actually were exhibiting various manifestations of Mitochondrial Disease, as MITO is associated with all these diseases.
I’m sad to say that means I’ve passed some number of those defective mtDNA to our daughter, who has passed some number of them on to her three children. As I understand it, there’s no way to know how much of the defective mtDNA has been passed along from one generation to the next, as that depends on the mtDNA makeup of the particular egg cell that was fertilized at the moment of conception.