Neurological and Immunological Problems associated with Mold and Mycotoxin Exposure Print E-mail

 

 

 
Lisa Nagy M.D.

Mold & Environmental Illness

......with Lisa Nagy M.D.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lisa Lavine Nagy M.D. graduated Magna Cum Laude from The University of Pennsylvania and then from Cornell Medical College in 1986. After a surgical internship she completed Emergency Medicine residency at Metropolitan Hospital in NYC and practiced in Los Angeles until becoming severely ill (Addison’s Disease, Mitochondrial Myopathy, Dysautonomia) –as a result of a complex medical condition known as Chemical Sensitivity or Environmental Illness.

 

Her story of survival and journey of discovery which led her to determine what had made her have such severe symptoms inspired ABC’s ‘Nightline’ to interview her this year and many newspapers and magazines to feature her recovery. In her case it was due to toxic mold and in others it is due to pesticide or chemical exposure. She learned about the field of Environmental Medicine and it’s focus on finding the causes of disease including genetic, hormonal, nutritional, allergic, and environmental factors.

 

She is now president of Preventive and Environmental Health Alliance which is a group focused on educating medical students, doctors, the AMA, congress and the public and assists patients to find help nationwide. Listening to physicians and other people who have developed severe Environmental Illness is the first step towards helping the 75 million people in the country with various health issues, including autoimmunity, related to their environments. Her website is www.EnvironmentalMedicineInfo.com

 

 

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009:

 

Neurological and Immunological Problems associated with Mold and Mycotoxin Exposure

 

 

(Ed): Below is a selection of research papers highlighting the effects of exposure to mold on the nervous and immune systems which Dr. Nagy feels are important.

 

 


 

 

Arch Environ Health. 2003 Aug;58(8):464-74.

 

Neural autoantibodies and neurophysiologic abnormalities in patients exposed to molds in water-damaged buildings.

 

Campbell AW, Thrasher JD, Madison RA, Vojdani A, Gray MR, Johnson A.

 

Medical Center for Immune and Toxic Disorders, Spring, Texas 77386, USA. md@immunotoxicology.com

 

 

Adverse health effects of fungal bioaerosols on occupants of water-damaged homes and other buildings have been reported. Recently, it has been suggested that mold exposure causes neurological injury. The authors investigated neurological antibodies and neurophysiological abnormalities in patients exposed to molds at home who developed symptoms of peripheral neuropathy (i.e., numbness, tingling, tremors, and muscle weakness in the extremities). Serum samples were collected and analyzed with the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) technique for antibodies to myelin basic protein, myelin-associated glycoprotein, ganglioside GM1, sulfatide, myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein, alpha-B-crystallin, chondroitin sulfate, tubulin, and neurofilament. Antibodies to molds and mycotoxins were also determined with ELISA, as reported previously. Neurophysiologic evaluations for latency, amplitude, and velocity were performed on 4 motor nerves (median, ulnar, peroneal, and tibial), and for latency and amplitude on 3 sensory nerves (median, ulnar, and sural). Patients with documented, measured exposure to molds had elevated titers of antibodies (immunoglobulin [Ig]A, IgM, and IgG) to neural-specific antigens. Nerve conduction studies revealed 4 patient groupings: (1) mixed sensory-motor polyneuropathy (n = 55, abnormal), (2) motor neuropathy (n = 17, abnormal), (3) sensory neuropathy (n = 27, abnormal), and (4) those with symptoms but no neurophysiological abnormalities (n = 20, normal controls). All groups showed significantly increased autoantibody titers for all isotypes (IgA, IgM, and IgG) of antibodies to neural antigens when compared with 500 healthy controls. Groups 1 through 3 also exhibited abnormal neurophysiologic findings. The authors concluded that exposure to molds in water-damaged buildings increased the risk for development of neural autoantibodies, peripheral neuropathy, and neurophysiologic abnormalities in exposed individuals.

 

PMID: 15259425 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

 

 


 

 

Arch Environ Health. 2003 Aug;58(8):452-63.

 

Psychological, neuropsychological, and electrocortical effects of mixed mold exposure.

 

Crago BR, Gray MR, Nelson LA, Davis M, Arnold L, Thrasher JD.

 

Neurobehavioral Health Services, Tucson, Arizona 85712, USA. bcbrain1@msn.com

 

 

The authors assessed the psychological, neuropsychological, and electrocortical effects of human exposure to mixed colonies of toxigenic molds. Patients (N = 182) with confirmed mold-exposure history completed clinical interviews, a symptom checklist (SCL-90-R), limited neuropsychological testing, quantitative electroencephalogram (QEEG) with neurometric analysis, and measures of mold exposure. Patients reported high levels of physical, cognitive, and emotional symptoms. Ratings on the SCL-90-R were "moderate" to "severe," with a factor reflecting situational depression accounting for most of the variance. Most of the patients were found to suffer from acute stress, adjustment disorder, or post-traumatic stress. Differential diagnosis confirmed an etiology of a combination of external stressors, along with organic metabolically based dysregulation of emotions and decreased cognitive functioning as a result of toxic or metabolic encephalopathy. Measures of toxic mold exposure predicted QEEG measures and neuropsychological test performance. QEEG results included narrowed frequency bands and increased power in the alpha and theta bands in the frontal areas of the cortex. These findings indicated a hypoactivation of the frontal cortex, possibly due to brainstem involvement and insufficient excitatory input from the reticular activating system. Neuropsychological testing revealed impairments similar to mild traumatic brain injury. In comparison with premorbid estimates of intelligence, findings of impaired functioning on multiple cognitive tasks predominated. A dose-response relationship between measures of mold exposure and abnormal neuropsychological test results and QEEG measures suggested that toxic mold causes significant problems in exposed individuals. Study limitations included lack of a comparison group, patient selection bias, and incomplete data sets that did not allow for comparisons among variables.

 

PMID: 15259424 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

 

 


 

 

Arch Environ Health. 2003 Jul;58(7):421-32. Related Articles, Compound via MeSH, Substance via MeSH, Books, LinkOut

 

Antibodies to molds and satratoxin in individuals exposed in water-damaged buildings.

 

Vojdani A, Thrasher JD, Madison RA, Gray MR, Heuser G, Campbell AW.

Immunosciences Lab, Inc., Beverly Hills, California, USA. immunsci@ix.netcom.com

 

 

Immunoglobulin (Ig)A, IgM, and IgG antibodies against Penicillium notatum, Aspergillus niger, Stachybotrys chartarum, and satratoxin H were determined in the blood of 500 healthy blood donor controls, 500 random patients, and 500 patients with known exposure to molds. The patients were referred to the immunological testing laboratory for health reasons other than mold exposure, or for measurement of mold antibody levels. Levels of IgA, IgM, and IgG antibodies against molds were significantly greater in the patients (p < 0.001 for all measurements) than in the controls. However, in mold-exposed patients, levels of these antibodies against satratoxin differed significantly for IgG only (p < 0.001), but not for IgM or IgA. These differences in the levels of mold antibodies among the 3 groups were confirmed by calculation of z score and by Scheffe's significant difference tests. A general linear model was applied in the majority of cases, and 3 different subsets were formed, meaning that the healthy control groups were different from the random patients and from the mold-exposed patients. These findings indicated that mold exposure was more common in patients who were referred for immunological evaluation than it was in healthy blood donors. The detection of antibodies to molds and satratoxin H likely resulted from antigenic stimulation of the immune system and the reaction of serum with specially prepared mold antigens. These antigens, which had high protein content, were developed in this laboratory and used in the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) procedure. The authors concluded that the antibodies studied are specific to mold antigens and mycotoxins, and therefore could be useful in epidemiological and other studies of humans exposed to molds and mycotoxins.

 

Publication Types:
Clinical Trial
Randomized Controlled Trial

 

PMID: 15143855 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

 

 


 

 

Arch Environ Health. 2003 Jul;58(7):410-20.

 

Mixed mold mycotoxicosis: immunological changes in humans following exposure in water-damaged buildings.

 

Gray MR, Thrasher JD, Crago R, Madison RA, Arnold L, Campbell AW, Vojdani A.

 

Progressive Healthcare Group, Benson, Arizona, USA. docmike007@aol.com

 

 

The study described was part of a larger multicenter investigation of patients with multiple health complaints attributable to confirmed exposure to mixed-molds infestation in water-damaged buildings. The authors present data on symptoms; clinical chemistries; abnormalities in pulmonary function; alterations in T, B, and natural killer (NK) cells; the presence of autoantibodies (i.e., antinuclear autoantibodies [ANA], autoantibodies against smooth muscle [ASM], and autoantibodies against central nervous system [CNS] and peripheral nervous system [PNS] myelins). A total of 209 adults, 42.7 +/- 16 yr of age (mean +/- standard deviation), were examined and tested with (a) self-administered weighted health history and symptom questionnaires; (b) standardized physical examinations; (c) complete blood counts and blood and urine chemistries; (d) urine and fecal cultures; (e) thyroid function tests (T4, free T3); (f) pulmonary function tests (forced vital capacity [FVC], forced expiratory volume in 1 sec [FEV1.0], and forced expiratory flow at 25%, 50%, 75%, and 25-75% of FVC [FEF25, FEF50, FEF75, and FEF2(25-75)]); (g) peripheral lymphocyte phenotypes (T, B, and NK cells) and mitogenesis determinations; and (h) a 13-item autoimmune panel. The molds-exposed patients reported a greater frequency and intensity of symptoms, particularly neurological and inflammatory symptoms, when compared with controls. The percentages of exposed individuals with increased lymphocyte phenotypes were: B cells (CD20+), 75.6%; CD5+CD25+, 68.9%; CD3+CD26+, 91.2%; CD8+HLR-DR+, 62%; and CD8+CD38+, 56.6%; whereas other phenotypes were decreased: CD8+CD11b+, 15.6% and CD3-CD16+CD56+, 38.5%. Mitogenesis to phytohemagglutinin was decreased in 26.2% of the exposed patients, but only 5.9% had decreased response to concanavalin A. Abnormally high levels of ANA, ASM, and CNS myelin (immunoglobulins [Ig]G, IgM, IgA) and PNS myelin (IgG, IgM, IgA) were found; odds ratios for each were significant at 95% confidence intervals, showing an increased risk for autoimmunity. The authors conclude that exposure to mixed molds and their associated mycotoxins in water-damaged buildings leads to multiple health problems involving the CNS and the immune system, in addition to pulmonary effects and allergies. Mold exposure also initiates inflammatory processes. The authors propose the term "mixed mold mycotoxicosis" for the multisystem illness observed in these patients.

 

Publication Types:
Clinical Trial
Controlled Clinical Trial
Multicenter Study

 

PMID: 15143854 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

 

 

 

 


 

Please visit again soon for more articles from Dr. Nagy and the Environmental Health Alliance

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  • Guest - Roberta Kane

    HI. GREAT INFORMATION . WHERE COULD SOMEONE GO TO GET HELP TO RECOVER FROM THE MOLD ? I HAVE PRETTY SIGNIFICANT NEUROLOGICAL TYPE SYMPTOMS FROM A LONG EXPOSURE TO STACHYBOTRIS . I HAVE A LOT OF MUSCLE WEAKNESS. FEELS LIKE I HAVE THE FLU OR THAT I'VE BEEN SICK A LONG TIME . I ALSO HAVE PULMONARY PROBLEMS . THANK YOU FOR ANY HELP YOU CAN OFFER .

    Like 0 Short URL:
  • Hi Roberta,

    If you read the other column articles by Dr. Nagy she explains that she was healed from environmental illness caused by mold by Dr. William Rea who runs a clinic in Dallas - Environmental Health Center - Dallas

    Like 0 Short URL:
  • Guest - Marilyn Thompson

    Very informative articles. I was dx. with antiphopholipidemia or Hughes Syndrome 5 years ago. On daily coumadin. This past fall, was positive for aspergillus fungus, on respirator, PFTs and scans worst over winter. This blood clotting disease happens in lungs, causing hemoptsis, sob, tapering oral steriods helps but didn't , moisture in walls at school, spring and fall, not sure where I got aspergillus but could be school. await test results. can't get better, shows up as interstitual pneumonitis. Been sob, dry cough, fatigue, fever, etc.. when it happened. What testing should be done IgE was done slightly elevated. Any other recommendations for my pulmonologist. Seen at Mass General and locally in Maine. Thanks for help.

    Like 0 Short URL:
  • Guest - Beckysalmons

    Hi, the reason I was looking into this information is that my neighbor and her husband have both been acting oddly in the past 6 months. His oddities was blamed on drinking and he was hospitalized and also jailed. They were separated, she was living in the front apartment and he was living in the main house. Her's have become more pronounced where she yells at things that aren't there, has weird bouts where she is irrational and babbling and other times where she acts as if she is completely drugged out. I've become very concerned with her behavior and was talking to some people, one of whom suggested that she be tested for bi-polarism as her symptoms definately fit that. When that was said it hit me that both of them have become extremely odd over the past 6 months and perhaps it was an airborn or environmental issue opposed to mental. I found your article very enlightening, I just don't know how to broach the subject with her as she is not ok for discussions at this point. Thank you!!

    Like 0 Short URL:
  • Guest - Jill Harpe

    I have been suffering neurological and joint problems for some time now, and tested positive (160) on an ANA test (smooth, speckled) over a year ago. Yesterday I started having tightness in my chest, but no cough. A classmate was talking about problems her mother has been dealing with in regard to mold exposure and I decided to look into it as my bathroom has had what I found-out to be black mold on the ceiling and wood partitions of the bathroom window. The question I have is can prolonged mold exposure cause a positive ANA result? I'm thinking of contacting my doctor about my suspicions. Have I waited too long to start treatment if mold is found to be the problem? I am really tired of being sick and tired all of the time. I hope someone can answer my question. Thank you.

    Like 0 Short URL:
  • Guest - C. Carnley

    I hv bn having extreme Migraines, bronchitis, and now memory, cognitive and hearing things....I moved from the place that had all the mold. I was exposed to 6 different molds in my air conditioning...two of which were mycotoxic. How do I go about proving that it was connected to the mold....I want to sue that bastard!!>:(

    Like 0 Short URL:
  • Guest - T. Rohmberg, VA

    No Guys Same as you I looked and looked for Med help. Had a million tests. Just got sicker and sicker saw the Shoemaker, what a rude person. (nothing) Saw some Chiro in Smyrna GA, another watse of time. Went to Mayo.... they were my biggest hope absolutley no answers..... Went to Sponagle FL Wellness center and got hooked up to a drip bag for a week. I actually felt better for 3 days then relapsed. I have spent a foutrune on this I took one last shot at the Mold Treatment Centers Of America, actually they cost less then anyone and I saw 5 doctors while I was there I admitt that I am in my thrid week of treatment and do feel better... will have to seewhat happens so far so good I'm not 100% but at least I can get out of bed now.
    Anybody know where Merlin lives now?

    Like 0 Short URL:
Comments (7)Add Comment
0
...
written by Roberta Kane , November 12, 2009
HI. GREAT INFORMATION . WHERE COULD SOMEONE GO TO GET HELP TO RECOVER FROM THE MOLD ? I HAVE PRETTY SIGNIFICANT NEUROLOGICAL TYPE SYMPTOMS FROM A LONG EXPOSURE TO STACHYBOTRIS . I HAVE A LOT OF MUSCLE WEAKNESS. FEELS LIKE I HAVE THE FLU OR THAT I'VE BEEN SICK A LONG TIME . I ALSO HAVE PULMONARY PROBLEMS . THANK YOU FOR ANY HELP YOU CAN OFFER .
Maff
...
written by Matthew Hogg, November 12, 2009
Hi Roberta,

If you read the other column articles by Dr. Nagy she explains that she was healed from environmental illness caused by mold by Dr. William Rea who runs a clinic in Dallas - Environmental Health Center - Dallas
0
...
written by Marilyn Thompson, July 10, 2010
Very informative articles. I was dx. with antiphopholipidemia or Hughes Syndrome 5 years ago. On daily coumadin. This past fall, was positive for aspergillus fungus, on respirator, PFTs and scans worst over winter. This blood clotting disease happens in lungs, causing hemoptsis, sob, tapering oral steriods helps but didn't , moisture in walls at school, spring and fall, not sure where I got aspergillus but could be school. await test results. can't get better, shows up as interstitual pneumonitis. Been sob, dry cough, fatigue, fever, etc.. when it happened. What testing should be done IgE was done slightly elevated. Any other recommendations for my pulmonologist. Seen at Mass General and locally in Maine. Thanks for help.
0
...
written by Beckysalmons, July 23, 2010
Hi, the reason I was looking into this information is that my neighbor and her husband have both been acting oddly in the past 6 months. His oddities was blamed on drinking and he was hospitalized and also jailed. They were separated, she was living in the front apartment and he was living in the main house. Her's have become more pronounced where she yells at things that aren't there, has weird bouts where she is irrational and babbling and other times where she acts as if she is completely drugged out. I've become very concerned with her behavior and was talking to some people, one of whom suggested that she be tested for bi-polarism as her symptoms definately fit that. When that was said it hit me that both of them have become extremely odd over the past 6 months and perhaps it was an airborn or environmental issue opposed to mental. I found your article very enlightening, I just don't know how to broach the subject with her as she is not ok for discussions at this point. Thank you!!
0
...
written by Jill Harpe, October 19, 2011
I have been suffering neurological and joint problems for some time now, and tested positive (160) on an ANA test (smooth, speckled) over a year ago. Yesterday I started having tightness in my chest, but no cough. A classmate was talking about problems her mother has been dealing with in regard to mold exposure and I decided to look into it as my bathroom has had what I found-out to be black mold on the ceiling and wood partitions of the bathroom window. The question I have is can prolonged mold exposure cause a positive ANA result? I'm thinking of contacting my doctor about my suspicions. Have I waited too long to start treatment if mold is found to be the problem? I am really tired of being sick and tired all of the time. I hope someone can answer my question. Thank you.
0
...
written by C. Carnley, August 06, 2012
I hv bn having extreme Migraines, bronchitis, and now memory, cognitive and hearing things....I moved from the place that had all the mold. I was exposed to 6 different molds in my air conditioning...two of which were mycotoxic. How do I go about proving that it was connected to the mold....I want to sue that bastard!!smilies/angry.gif
0
...
written by T. Rohmberg, VA, December 28, 2012

No Guys Same as you I looked and looked for Med help. Had a million tests. Just got sicker and sicker saw the Shoemaker, what a rude person. (nothing) Saw some Chiro in Smyrna GA, another watse of time. Went to Mayo.... they were my biggest hope absolutley no answers..... Went to Sponagle FL Wellness center and got hooked up to a drip bag for a week. I actually felt better for 3 days then relapsed. I have spent a foutrune on this I took one last shot at the Mold Treatment Centers Of America, actually they cost less then anyone and I saw 5 doctors while I was there I admitt that I am in my thrid week of treatment and do feel better... will have to seewhat happens so far so good I'm not 100% but at least I can get out of bed now.
Anybody know where Merlin lives now?

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 March 2011 17:50
 

 

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