Mitochondrial DNA Mutations and Cognition: A Case-Series Report
Arch Clin Neuropsychol
Mutations in the mitochondrial genome can impair normal metabolic function in the central nervous system (CNS) where cellular energy demand is high. Primary mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations have been linked to several mitochondrial disorders that have comorbid psychiatric, neurologic, and cognitive sequelae. Here, we present a series of cases with primary mtDNA mutations who were genotyped and evaluated across a common neuropsychological battery. Nineteen patients with mtDNA mutations were genotyped and clinically and cognitively evaluated. Pronounced deficits in nonverbal/visuoperceptual reasoning, verbal recall, semantic word generativity, and processing speed were evident and consistent with a "mitochondrial dementia" that has been posited. However, variation in cognitive performance was noteworthy, suggesting that the phenotypic landscape of cognition linked to primary mtDNA mutations is heterogeneous. Our patients with mtDNA mutations evidenced cognitive deficits quite similar to those commonly seen in Alzheimer's disease and could have clinical relevance to the evaluation of dementia.
Faculty, Northwell Researcher
School of Medicine; Northwell Health