What are the complications of MMA?
During periods of illness or stress, the body naturally speeds up its metabolism. While this poses no threat for healthy persons, for MMA kids it can put them at risk for life threatening complications. When metabolism speeds up, the body will use its own stores of muscle and fat to supply the extra energy. But muscle contains protein and its breakdown during these periods can cause acute complications such as dehydration, acidosis, hypoglycemia, hyperammonemia, seizures, encephalopathy, bone marrow suppression, pancreatitis and hepatitis. When an MMA child becomes ill (cold, flu, GI bugs, etc.) caregivers must act quickly to prevent complications, such as further restricting protein or taking them to the ER for IV medications and monitoring. In isolated cases of MMA there is a high incidence of mental retardation and propensity toward strokes of the basal ganglia, growth problems, and renal disease.