Mitochondrial Disease 101 Webinar

Mitochondrial disease (mito) is a debilitating genetic disorder that starves the body’s cells of energy, causing multiple organ dysfunction or failure and potentially death. Mito is recognised as the most common subgroup of inherited metabolic disorders. Recent research shows 1 in 200 people, or more than 120,000 Australians, may carry genetic changes that put them at risk for developing mitochondrial disease or other related symptoms such as diabetes, deafness or seizures during their lifetimes. 1 in 5000 will develop a severe or life-threatening form of mito, making it the second most commonly diagnosed serious genetic disease after cystic fibrosis.

Because mitochondria are present in almost every cell of the body, the results of defects of mitochondrial function are multisystemic. Mito may cause any symptom in any organ at any age. Currently there are no effective treatments or cures for mito, and symptom management is a significant aspect of reducing patient’s disease burden and improving quality of life. Exercise is recommended for patients with mito however minimal evidence-based treatment guidelines and other educational resources exist in Australia for AEPs to use in treating patients.

This presentation will be presented by the Australian Mitochondrial Disease Exercise Physiology Network (AMEPN), a group of passionate Accredited Exercise Physiologists who collaborate with the aim of improving clinical practices and patient care for mito within the exercise physiology field. The presentation will cover essential topics required for AEPs to treat patients with mito safely and effectively, including:

• An overview of mito and energy metabolism
• The rationale and evidence for exercise and mito
• Exercise prescription 
• Appropriate and inappropriate exercise and functional testing
• Ensuring good patient experience

The speakers will also be presenting case studies of both adult and paediatric patients they have treated.

Presented by Mr Ben Turner, Ms Nancy Van Doorn and Mr Brent Nicol

Mr Ben Turner, BExSpSci, MClinExPhys, ESSAM, AEP
Ben Turner has been working in the exercise field for over 10 years, with experience working with 5-95 year olds, in rehab settings as an AEP through to high performance sport as a S&C Coach. Ben has now found himself working in the field of disability for the last 4.5 years, commencing with Minda Inc. in 2016 as their first AEP and now working with Novita to set up the EP Program in a growing and expanding organisation. Ben has a passion for goal setting and motivational interview to empower clients to take control of their health and build positive exercise habits.     

Ms Nancy Van Doorn, BSc(Hlth&SpSc), MClinExpPhys, ESSAM, AEP
Nancy van Doorn has been an AEP at the Children's Hospital Westmead for the past 10 years, working with children and adolescents with a range of chronic conditions, with a special interest in disorders of energy metabolism and a strong passion for improving the health and well being of young people.

Mr Brent Nicol, AEP, AES, ESSAM
Brent Nicol works as program manager for BodyEd, an organisation he co-founded which aims to normalize positive mental and physical health behaviours in children and teenagers, as well as improve education around health and fitness for people of any age. With an evidence based, multidisciplinary approach, his programs aim to improve autonomy and increase feelings of self-efficacy in participants. His mission is to make sure that everyone is just a little bit more in control of their health, and a lot happier because of it. In the past, Brent’s extensive history in martial arts coaching (technical skills and S&C) has taken him all over Australia, and given provided great insight into both traditional and evidence based practice with regards to exercise programming, prescription, and delivery to people from a range of activity levels, from sedentary all the way to internationally competing athletes! Lastly, Brent works within the Logan City Council to manage the delivery of free or low-cost community allied health programs to the local population. His continuing focus on high quality education with a view towards enhancing self-efficacy and personal participation in healthcare has had a great impact on the local community.


Tuesday, 13 October 2020
11:00am - 12:30pm AEDT
Please note, the times listed are in Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time. 
Your local time will be: 
ACT:         11:00am - 12:30pm 
  11:00am - 12:30pm
  9:30am - 11:00am
QLD:   10:00am - 11:30am
  10:30am - 12:00pm
  11:00am - 12:30pm
  11:00am - 12:30pm
  8:00am - 9:30am
Please note: This is a live webinar and needs to be watched at the specified time above. If you are unable to watch the webinar live, it will be produced as podcast and can be purchased within the following month.

Rates per person

ESSA Member        $30.00  
Non-Member   $50.00 
ESSA Student Member
Student Non-Member
Please see terms & conditions for registration type definitions.

Access to Webinar

You will be provided information on how to access this webinar within your registration confirmation email.
NB: A confirmation of your attendance is required.

Target Audience

Any Accredited Exercise Physiologist



Registration is now closed for this Webinar.
If you have any queries, please contact the ESSA national office on 07 3171 3335, or email

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  • All accredited persons, regardless of any professional development completed/ attended must refer to their accreditation’s Scope of Practice/Standards, and only treat/practice within the same.  
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