The results of clinical, genealogical and molecular investigation of eighteen families with Leber hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON), identified on the territory of Siberia during the period from 1997 to 2005, are presented. Comprehensive analysis of mitochondrial genome variations in probands and their matrilineal relatives revealed the presence of relatively frequent (G11778A, G3460A, and T14484C), as well as rare and new mutations with the established or presumptive pathological effect (T10663C, G363A, C4640T, and A14619G). The G11778A mutation was detected in nine pedigrees (50%), mostly in the families of ethnic Russians. In eight of these families G11778A was found in preferred association with the coding-region substitutions, typical of western Eurasian mtDNA lineage (haplogroup) TJ. On the contrary, the G3460A mutation was detected in the three families belonging to the indigenous Siberian populations (Tuvinians, Altaians, and Buryats). It was associated with clearly different haplotypes of eastern Eurasian haplogroups, C3, D5, and D8. Unexpectedly, the G3460A de novo mutation was found in a large Tuvinian pedigree. At the same time, in eleven out of fourteen families of Caucasoid origin pathogenic mutations in the ND genes were associated with the T4216C and C1542A coding-region mutations, marking the root motif of haplogoup TJ. It is suggested that phylogenetically ancient mutations could have provided their carriers with the adaptive advantages upon the development of Central and Northern Europe at the end of the last glaciation (10 000 to 9 000 years ago), thereby, contributing to the preservation of weekly pathogenic LHON mutations, appearing at specific genetic background.