Leigh Syndrome

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

Skip to the navigation

It is possible that the main title of the report Leigh Syndrome is not the name you expected.

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

Leigh syndrome is a rare genetic neurometabolic disorder. It is characterized by the degeneration of the central nervous system (i.e., brain, spinal cord, and optic nerve). The symptoms of Leigh syndrome usually begin between the ages of three months and two years. Symptoms are associated with progressive neurological deterioration and may include loss of previously acquired motor skills, loss of appetite, vomiting, irritability, and/or seizure activity. As Leigh syndrome progresses, symptoms may also include generalized weakness, lack of muscle tone (hypotonia), and episodes of lactic acidosis, which may lead to impairment of respiratory and kidney function.

Several different genetically determined enzyme defects can cause the syndrome, initially described over 60 years ago. Most individuals with Leigh syndrome have defects of mitochondrial energy production, such as deficiency of an enzyme of the mitochondrial respiratory chain complex or the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex. In most cases, Leigh syndrome is inherited as an autosomal recessive trait. However, X-linked recessive and mitochondrial inheritance are additional modes of transmission.

Supporting Organizations

CLIMB (Children Living with Inherited Metabolic Diseases)

Climb Building
176 Nantwich Road
Crewe, CW2 6BG
United Kingdom
Tel: 4408452412173
Fax: 4408452412174
Email: enquiries@climb.org.uk
Website: http://www.CLIMB.org.uk

Campbell Burns Metabolic Trust

3 Merganser Way
Leicestershire, LE67 4DN
Tel: 44 (0) 1530 450668
Email: bekki@campbellstrust.co.uk
Website: http://www.campbellstrust.co.uk

Children's Brain Diseases Foundation

350 Parnassus Avenue
Suite 900
San Francisco, CA 94117
Tel: (415)665-3003
Fax: (415)665-3003
Email: jrider6022@aol.com

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center

PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
Website: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/

Lactic Acidosis Support Trust

1A Whitley Close
Cheshire, CW10 0NQ
United Kingdom
Tel: 160683719
Fax: 1606837198

March of Dimes

1275 Mamaroneck Avenue
White Plains, NY 10605
Tel: (914)997-4488
Fax: (914)997-4763
Email: AskUs@marchofdimes.org or preguntas@nacersano.org
Website: http://www.marchofdimes.org and nacersano.org


PO Box 51474
Boston, MA 02205
Tel: (888)648-6228
Fax: (888)648-6228
Email: info@mitoaction.org
Website: http://www.MitoAction.org

NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

P.O. Box 5801
Bethesda, MD 20824
Tel: (301)496-5751
Fax: (301)402-2186
Tel: (800)352-9424
Website: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/

The Arc

1825 K Street NW, Suite 1200
Washington, DC 20006
Tel: (202)534-3700
Fax: (202)534-3731
Tel: (800)433-5255
Email: info@thearc.org
Website: http://www.thearc.org

United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation

8085 Saltsburg Road Suite 201
Pittsburgh, PA 15239
United States
Tel: (412)793-8077
Fax: (412)793-6477
Tel: (888)317-8633
Email: info@umdf.org
Website: http://www.umdf.org

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). For a full-text version of this report, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report.

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

Last Updated:  3/16/2016
Copyright  2013 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.