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Communicated by Henrik DahlA disorder of mitochondrial energy metabolism may be missed in children with a very mild phenotype. Here, we described a patient with a moderate mental retardation and a mild exercise intolerance. This child harboured a mtDNA transition (m.6955G>A) in the subunit I of the cytochrome oxidase (MT-CO1) that fulfils most of the requirements to be pathologic. Despite this subunit is the second longest polypeptide encoded in the mtDNA, only one other missense mutation associated with a myopathy has been described. This suggests that we are missing other phenotypes and that the mitochondrial pathology field is broader that previously thought.