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Mold Induced Neuropsychological Illness
by MCS America News, January,
Researchers at Texas Southern
University say contamination of the indoor environment by toxigenic molds is
directly related to adverse health effects. Mold releases spores into the
air to reproduce. These spores grow readily in damp environments and are
According the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), " Molds can trigger
asthma episodes in sensitive individuals with asthma. People with asthma
should avoid contact with or exposure to molds." However, mold exposure is
not limited to affecting only asthmatics.
Researchers examined twelve female office workers who presented with
symptoms of neuropsychological illnesses with mold as the suspected cause.
The subjects complained of weakness and numbness in their legs, dizziness,
loss of memory, light-headedness, vertigo, fatigue, getting lost in familiar
territory, and confused thoughts.
Various tests were carried out including immunological testing, EEG's, and
neuropsychological tests. All the subjects showed abnormal antibodies to
Alternaria tenuis, Pullularia pullulans, and Epicoccum nigru, each a form of
mold. EEG's were abnormal in all subjects and some showed evidence of tremor
and paresis (a partial loss of movement).
The most significant finding was gross neuropsychological abnormalities
similar to those observed in the brain-damaged population.
Neuropsychological evaluation examines brain function and impairment and
identifies the brain area affected.
The researchers concluded that chronic exposures to toxigenic molds appears
to lead to neuropsychological manifestations.
The key to controlling mold is to control moisture, especially in water
damaged areas. Good indoor circulation is helpful. A dehumidifier in damp
areas is essential, as are exhaust fans, particularly in the bathroom after
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a resource site for mold at:
Anyanwu, EC, Kanu, I, Nwachukwu, NC, Saleh, MA. Chronic Environmental
exposure to Alternaria tenuis may manifest symptoms of neuropsychological
illnesses: A study of 12 Cases. Journal of Applied Sciences & Environmental
Management, Vol. 9, No. 3, 2005, pp. 45-51.