Angels for Alyssa

(doing business as MMA Research Fund) is a registered non-profit organization dedicated to supporting medical research efforts to find a cure for methylmalonic acidemia. Staffed entirely by volunteers, this organization seeks to apply every dollar available towards these research efforts.

What is Methylmalonic Acidemia

(MMA)?

Methylmalonic Acidemia (pronounced meth-il-ma-lon-ic a-cid-em-ia) is a rare genetic disorder of amino acid and odd-chain fatty acid metabolism. 

When the body cannot metabolize amino acids (protein) correctly, severe metabolic disturbances cause methylmalonic acid to build in the bloodstream at high levels. This toxic acid can lead to severe metabolic acidosis, which can be fatal. 

MMA impairs not just the health of affected children, but also daily living. 

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms may include:

  • decreased muscle tone
  • anorexia
  • delayed development
  • recurrent infections, and
  • failure to thrive. 

Most MMA patients have little appetite and require gastrostomy feedings. Symptoms generally present at birth or early childhood.

What complications can arise from MMA?

As a result of the body being exposed to extremely high levels of methylmalonic acid, complications in renal, neurological and gastrointestinal functions can ultimately develop. During periods of illness or stress, the body naturally speeds up its metabolism and can cause acute complications such as dehydration, acidosis, hypoglycemia, seizures, encephalopathy, bone marrow suppression, pancreatitis and hepatitis.

What are the long-term consequences?

If not detected early and/or managed properly, MMA may result in:

  • mental retardation
  • physical delays
  • coma
  • possibly death

Newborns often suffer death if not detected early.

What is the treatment?

Treatment consists of a strictly controlled diet that restricts protein and/or the four offending amino acids (isoleucine, valine, methionine and threonine).

Since high MMA levels are toxic, the goal of treatment is to minimize these levels yet provide enough protein (from which MMA is produced) for normal growth and development.

Is there a cure for MMA at this time?

No. Researchers are currently studying the disease with the goal of finding additional treatments or a cure through gene and other therapies.

How often does MMA occur?

MMA is regarded as a rare disorder, occurring approximately 1 in 25,000 to 48,000 births.

Angels for Alyssa is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as tax-exempt under 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3). 

To become an Angel for Alyssa and the other children afflicted with MMA, please visit the How to Donate tab!

About Us

Mission:To support medical research

efforts to find better treatments and/or a cure for methylmalonic acidemia while increasing awareness of this rare disease.

In memory of Blake, our

deeply missed heavenly angel.

(B. 2/1997 - d. 3/1997, MMA)

Board of Directors:

Dennis Meisel, President

Thomas Day, Jr., Vice President

Karen Johnson, Secretary

Bonnie Meisel, Treasurer

Loren Garner, Director

Martin Moran III, Director

Thanks to our significant corporate sponsors, including:

Auntie Anne's at Chesterfield Towne Center

(independently owned franchise location)

Post 674