On January 8, 2013, the UT Mitochondrial Center of Excellence opened the doors to the new Leigh Clinic, with a special ribbon cutting ceremony led by 4 year old patient, Will Martin. Leigh syndrome is a progressive neurometa-bolic disorder that causes lesions to form in vulnerable areas of the brain that control important bodily functions. Patients typically appear healthy at birth, but begin to show symptoms within the first two years of life, often after a viral illness. Children may lose the ability to talk, walk, eat, and breathe on their own. Leigh syndrome has no known treatment and the prognosis is poor. The UT Mitochondrial Center of Excellence cares for over 30 patients with Leigh syndrome. By hosting a dedicated, monthly clinic, we are able to meet the exceptional needs of these families, both medically and emotionally. We are also able to perform more focused research on this particular group of patients. Also helping in the ribbon cutting is Kaden Huddleston, a 1 year old patient with Leigh syndrome.
“Having involvement in a clinic where you gather with not only other families affected by Leigh’s, but also gather with a group of amazing doctors who openly exchange infor-mation, gives us hope” says Sandra Birkline, Kaden’s mother, “Knowing that these doctors are all coming together to use their knowledge and expertise to observe our son and other children who are also affected and to find what works and doesn’t work, will hopefully put us one step closer to finding a better treatment plan or cure.”