Lourdes Salvador's Column
...Co-founder of MCS America discusses the latest Multiple Chemical Sensitivity issues.
Mold Illness - Putting the Cart in Front of the Horse
by Lourdes Salvador
Historically, any illness which has not been thoroughly researched is said to be ill understood by science, dismissed by medical professionals, and patients are told they have a psychological disorder. Mold illness has been no exception.
People who become ill from mold exposure are frequently not taken seriously by family, friends, and medical professionals. All too often they are told they have a fear of mold, a mental illness, or are simply malingering.
Outward neurological and neuropsychiatric symptoms may not be the cause of mold illness, but rather the effect of mold poisoning.
In a published scientific journal article from the Independent Neurodiagnostic Clinic in Atlanta, Georgia, Empting says human exposure to molds, mycotoxins, and water-damaged buildings can cause neurologic and neuropsychiatric signs and symptoms.
Many of these clinical features can partly mimic or be similar to classic neurologic disorders including pain syndromes, movement disorders, delirium, dementia, and disorders of balance and coordination, says Empting, âIt is clear that mycotoxins can affect sensitive individuals, and possibly accelerate underlying neurologic/pathologic processes, but it is crucial to separate known neurologic and neuropsychiatric disorders from mycotoxin effects in order to study it properly.
Similar to lead poisoning, mold poisoning affects brain function, may lead to lower IQ, anxiety, depression, and delirium. Just like lead poisoning, when mold poisoning is properly treated these symptoms abate.
People with pre-existing mental disorders may experience an exacerbation, or worsening, of their condition when exposed to mold. Because of the pre-existing mental disorder, these signs and symptoms of mold poisoning may be easily overlooked.
It is crucial that a complete physical workup and toxicology screening be completed before any diagnosis of a mental disorder is made. Often the outward appearance of a mental disorder leads to misdiagnosis. A correct diagnosis can lead to proper treatment and a partial or full recovery.
Empting LD. Neurologic and neuropsychiatric syndrome features of mold and mycotoxin exposure. Toxicol Ind Health. 2009 Oct-Nov;25(9-10):577-81.
For more articles on this topic, see: MCSA News.
Copyrighted 2010 Lourdes Salvador & MCS America
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