Mold and Your Brain

Mold can cause a plethora of problems outside the brain — most often, it is known to cause upper respiratory breathing problems. However, problems that mold can cause within the brain are often overlooked; yet, these problems are also some of the scariest.

Just over a year ago at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, researchers reported findings in an experiment that they conducted with mice. The researchers dosed the mice with small doses of toxic Stachybotrys mold spores three times per week. After three weeks, the mice seemed to look physically healthy.

However, the mice were unable to remember a scary place that they were familiar with, and that they could previously recall. In addition, the researchers reported that the mice that were dosed with toxic mold had a much higher anxiety level than the control group of mice that were not dosed.

Scientists also found that the mice’s new brain cells in the hippocampus — the area responsible for memory — were severely decreased.

A second study in the American Journal of Public Health simply looked at data for the World Health Organization interviews of nearly 6,000 European adults. When looking at survey questions regarding mental health and mold, they found a correlation between mold and depression, sleep disturbances, and lowered self esteem.

While it is true that correlation does not imply causation, this study certainly is an important stepping stone to what new studies about mold should be exploring next.

The above stories all occurred with a fairly low level of mold exposure. But what happens to your brain if you are exposed to a higher dose of toxic mold?

A mother living in Arizona had an incredibly driven and successful life. Without warning, however, she began to feel disorganized, like she couldn’t put together a coherent thought. Her work performance dropped considerably, and friends and family noticed the change.

“It was like I lost my personality,” she said. 

After testing, her doctor diagnosed her with heavy metal poisoning, and she went through treatment. Five months later, the illness returned. Eventually, her home was tested and Stachybotrys, the same mold that was injected into the mice in the study above, was found.

It is incredibly lucky that she found the mold when she did, and was able to get rid of it and resume her life as normal.

“To see the scans and to know that you are not bipolar, you are not depressed…to see what I knew in my own gut backed up on the scans…it’s so validating and powerful,” she said. “The idea that there is a way to address what’s happening and that you can get better, it’s just so wonderful.”

The effects that mold can have on your body and brain are not small, and they are not something to be ignored. If you suspect you have a mold infection, please give us a call. Don’t wait when it comes to the health and safety of your family.

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