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This type of inheritance, also known as maternal inheritance, applies to genes in mitochondrial DNA. Because only egg cells contribute mitochondria to the developing embryo, only mothers can pass on mitochondrial conditions to their children (males and females).

Here's a quick list of diseases inherited by the mitochondrial DNA:

  • Diabetes mellitus and deafness (DAD Syndrome)
  • Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON)
  • Leigh syndrome, subacute sclerosing encephalopathy
  • Neuropathy, ataxia, retinitis pigmentosa, and ptosis (NARP Syndrome)
  • Myoneurogenic gastrointestinal encephalopathy (MNGIE Syndrome)
  • Myoclonic Epilepsy with Ragged Red Fibers (MERRF Syndrome)
  • Mitochondrial myopathy, encephalomyopathy, lactic acidosis, stroke-like symptoms (MELAS Syndrome)
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