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Mitochondrial Damage

Volume 486: debated on Monday 12 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent research his Department has conducted or evaluated on the relationship between mitochondrial damage and (a) the use of certain medications such as anti-inflammatories, anaesthetics, angina medications, antibiotics, anti-depressants, statins, mood-stabiliser lithium and (b) chemotherapy. (244738)


The Medical Research Council (MRC) is one of the main agencies through which the Government supports medical and clinical research. The MRC is an independent body that receives its grant-in-aid from the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills.

The MRC is not currently funding research directly relating to the relationship between mitochondrial damage and the use of these medications or chemotherapy. However, the MRC does support a portfolio of more basic research on the effects of mitochondrial damage including support for the MRC Mitochondrial Dysfunction Group at the MRC Dunn Human Nutrition Unit in Cambridge. Information about the group’s research can be found at: _dysfunction/

In addition, the Department’s National Institute for Health Research and the MRC have recently agreed funding for the MRC Centre for Translational Research in Neuromuscular Disease Mitochondrial Disease Patient Cohort (UK) led by Professor Douglass Turnbull at Newcastle university. The development of this cohort will facilitate large-scale interventional trials of drugs and novel treatments such as sequential resistance-endurance exercise. The cohort will also provide the opportunity to assess various prevention strategies including those for cardiomyopathy, stroke-like episodes, migraine and epilepsy.