Connie Yates and Chris Gard, parents of terminally-ill 10-month-old Charlie Gard, pose with a petition of signatures supporting their case, prior to delivering it to the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in central London on July 9, 2017. | TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images
Health

The Experimental Therapy Charlie Gard's Parents Are Fighting For, Explained

Nucleoside bypass therapy is highly experimental and has never been used on someone with Charlie's rare mitochondrial disease, but it has also shown promise in some cases.

Published On 07/14/2017
8:45 AM EDT
M M itochondrial disease has leapt into the spotlight recently due to the case of Charlie Gard, a 10-month-old boy in the UK who has become a symbol of medical ethics and parental rights. Charlie was born healthy last August, but soon developed an exceptionally rare terminal disease called mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome (MDDS). Since last October Charlie has been kept alive by a ventilator at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital while experiencing severe seizures, brain damage, and other serious medical problems.