MELAS is the abbreviation of Mitochondrial encephalomyopathy, lactic acidosis, and stroke-like episodes and is related to a variety of mitochondrial cytopathies that also include MERRF, and Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy. This is an inherited condition and symptoms of disorder commence early in childhood ranging from loss of muscles, extreme weakness, dizziness and laziness and also seizures.
HOW IS MELAS SYNDROME DIAGNOSED?
The diagnosis of MELAS is usually suspected on clinical grounds. However, confirmation of the diagnosis usually requires a muscle or brain biopsy. The muscle biopsy shows characteristic ragged red fibers, a brain biopsy shows stroke-like changes. Brain imaging techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be used to look for stroke-like lesions and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) may be used to look for a lactate peak in the brain. Electrocardiogram may be used to diagnose heart rhythm abnormalities and echocardiogram may be used to diagnose cardiomyopathy.
HOW IS MELAS SYNDROME TREATED?
There is no treatment for this disease which is fatal. Enzymes, amino acids, antioxidants and vitamins could be prescribed depending on which part of the body is affected.
DID YOU KNOW?
Genetic counselling is recommended for families of the individuals affected by Melas Syndrome so that they can cope better with the disease