An extensive range of molecular defects have been identified in the human mitochondrial genome (mtDNA), causing a range of clinical phenotypes characterized by mitochondrial respiratory chain dysfunction. Sadly, given the complexities of mitochondrial genetics, there are no available cures for mtDNA disorders. In this review, we consider experimental, genetic-based strategies that have been or are being explored towards developing treatments, focussing on two specific areas which we are actively pursuing—assessing the benefit of exercise training for patients with mtDNA defects, and the prevention of mtDNA disease transmission.

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