Bringing hope to families
in the fight to eradicate MLD


What is MLD (Metachromatic Leukodystrophy)?

MLD is an acronym for Metachromatic Leukodystrophy. MLD is an autosomal recessive genetic disorder which at the moment has no cure. MLD is directly caused by a deficiency of the enzyme Arylsulfatase-A. Without this enzyme sulfatides build up, eventually destroying the myelin sheath of the nervous system. The myelin sheath is a fatty covering that protects nerve fibres. Without it, the nerves in the brain and the peripheral nerves cease to function properly.

The types of MLD

Family advice and support

MLD Support Association UK was set up by two families who have a child with Metachromatic Leukodystrophy. We understand how life-shattering the diagnosis can be, and how alone you are feeling. We are here to help to offer advice and help.
Never suffer alone

Research and clinical information

MLD is a rare disease and many health professionals know little about the symptoms and outcomes. MLD Support Association UK is committed to providing information to help with a correct diagnosis and to provide details of on-going care or treatment options.
Information for healthcare professionals

Fundraising and Volunteering

We urgently need donations so that we can continue to support families and help to find a cure for MLD. If you have been affected by MLD or know a family that has and would like to make a donation, volunteer or fundraise for us, then we can point you in the right direction.
Support our work

Where our charitable work is most needed

MLD (Metachromatic Leukodystrophy) is a rare genetic condition, but when it strikes it brings devastation to the entire family. Our primary aim is to provide support to families, personally, through our Website and Facebook group and at annual Family Conferences and Fun Days. As MLD is a rare disease, many health professionals know very little about the symptoms and outcomes. We are committed to providing information to ensure a correct diagnosis and also to provide current details of on-going care or treatment options. MLD Support Association UK also organises and sponsors a bi-annual Scientific Conference where scientists and clinicians who specialise in Leukodystrophies, both from the UK and overseas, can meet up to learn about current treatment and research.
Read our family case studies

The Cartmel family, Metachromatic Leukodystrophy (MLD)

News and Stories

MLD Support Association Caregiver Survey

Patient and care-giver survey

A new survey to research the experiences of patients and care-givers in now live. The findings will help ensure regulatory bodies such as NICE and the NHS fully understand the effects of MLD on patients and families, and that we do our best to secure access to therapies and support future access to Newborn Screening. Find out more

MLD Patient Registry

The MLD Registry is live

We are delighted to announce the launch of the MLD Patient Registry. Thanks to the work of our trustees Jackie and Vivienne, we now have a process and technology in place to gather patient data which will be used for clinical research and trials to better understand the disease and develop new treatments. Find out more

MLD Support Association UK Conferences 2020

2020 conference cancellation

It is with great regret that we have to tell you that the MLD Support Association UK Scientific Conference on 19 June and the Family Conference on 20 June have been cancelled. The peak of the Coronavirus outbreak is expected to be in May/June and we believe it is not sensible to try and run the Conference this year.

Rare Disease Day 2020 MLD Support Association UK

A leap for rare diseases

There are over 300 million people living with one or more of over 6,000 identified rare diseases around the world, each supported by family, friends and a team of carers that make up the rare disease community. We are pleased to support Rare Disease Day on Saturday 29th February. Find out more

MLD Support Association UK Family Fun Day 2019

Family Fun Day

Saturday 7 September 2109 dawned mild and partly sunny. It was a perfect day for the first MLD Support Association UK Family Fun Day at Wicksteed Park in Kettering. The day was a great success with rides, the little train, a magician/balloon maker and an amazing face painter. Read the full story

Lottery Community Fund logo

Celebrating Lottery Funding

We are delighted to announce an award of over £4,000 from the National Lottery Community Fund for our Family Fun Day at Wicksteed Park on 7 September 2019. A big thank you to our Trustee Nicola for securing the grant, which will provide us with the means to invite affected children and their families. Read the full story

MLD Support Association UK Snowdrop Symbol of Hope

Symbol of hope

We have adopted a snowdrop as our emblem because it is a symbol of hope that signals the end of winter and the start of spring. Secondly, the whiteness of the flower reminds us of the brain and central nervous system’s white matter which, as a result of MLD, becomes stained and degenerates. The literal translation of MLD means (meta) change, (chromatic) colour, (leuko) white matter and (dystrophy) degeneration. About us

The D’Cruz-Parsley Family

The D’Cruz-Parsley Family

Millie D’Cruz Parsley celebrated her birthday in April 2010 as a normal, healthy six-year-old child. Within a couple of months, her inability to keep pace with her peers, alongside some issues with her balance, had been noticed, and her condition was eventually diagnosed as MLD (Juvenile onset). Millie’s mum, Twila, wanted to reach out and help other families with MLD, so in 2012 she donated funds to start the MLD Support Association UK. Millie’s story

Scott Clark adult onset Metachromatic Leukodystrophy (MLD) sufferer

The miracle of Scott

Scott was born on 5 April 1972. He was healthy and happy and progressed easily through school. He was fiercely academic and at 18 he gained a place in a top UK university. Sadly, Adult-Onset MLD struck and by the age of 22 he was given a terminal diagnosis. Scott’s mother discovered that Bone Marrow Transplants were being carried out in the USA and in March 1996 Scott had a Bone Marrow Transplant with his brother, Russell, as donor. The BMT was a success and today he is the longest survivor of MLD in the UK and still remains stable. Scott’s story

We need your support

We urgently need donations so that we can continue to support families, provide information for health professionals and fund research to help find a cure for MLD. Cheques should be made payable to ‘MLD Support Association UK’ and sent to the office address in Whitstable displayed at the bottom of this page.

Alternatively, you can make a donation through JustGiving. Click on the purple button and please do remember to ‘Gift Aid it’ if you are a UK tax payer. This means we can reclaim an extra 25% in tax at no extra cost to you.

Support us with Amazon Smile

Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of eligible AmazonSmile purchases to charitable organisations, and MLD Support Association UK is registered with AmazonSmile. There is no catch – it is the same Amazon you know – same products, same price and same service.

Please register with AmazonSmile and help MLD Support Association to continue providing support to families affected by MLD. Sign up to AmazonSmile