Exposure to mould causes a variety of health issues. Mould links to chronic symptoms such as asthma, allergies, bronchitis, and other respiratory issues. The most common types of mould are the ones growing in our home, and contaminating our food. This means that, if we are not cautious, we could be stuck in a perpetual cycle of mould exposure. Aside from the common symptoms, clinical studies and research are now drawing links between mould exposure and the pathogenesis of Autism Spectrum Disorder.
What is mould?
Mould is a fungus that grows on foods and a variety of surfaces, usually in wet and moist environments. When left long enough, mould can become a serious issue. Black mould is common in households, where some building materials are conducive to colonisation. Certain types of fungi release mycotoxins, which are airborne. Absorption of these mycotoxins occurs through skin contact and inhalation. This is most likely why symptoms associated with mould exposure include respiratory and allergen issues. Some studies have even linked mould exposure to impaired neurological functioning, blink-reflex latency, visual fields, reaction time, and colour discrimination and depression.
How is mould exposure associated with neuropsychiatric symptoms?
Although studies determining the effect of mould on neuropsychiatric symptoms are still in their infancy, research looks promising. Ochratoxin A is the most common mycotoxin found in food and water-damaged buildings, associated with serious health problems, including severe neuropsychiatric issues in humans. Although a single mycotoxin may not have any effects, a combination of mycotoxins may produce more symptoms.
Pathogenic symptoms can link to nonparticulate fragments of fungi (mycotoxin 23). Some of the more major classes of mycotoxins include ochratoxin (A, B, and C), produced by Penicillium and Aspergillus spp, as well as the trichothecenes (T2).
Fusarium spp most often produce trichothecene mycotoxins. Myrothecium, Stachybotrys, and Trichothecium spp produce macrocyclic mycotoxins. Trichothecene is most commonly found in the air of affected, water damaged buildings. Prolonged exposure has led to the increased detection of the T2 toxin in affected individuals. These toxins can cause multi-systemic effects, including gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, and neuropsychiatric effects.
Although research into mould exposure is still in its infancy, studies are contributing significantly to the analysis of neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders. Science has linked a variety of cognitive issues to prolonged mould exposure, and can help us understand how patients need to be treated. It has also contributed to the preventive measures to be taken to avoid symptoms related to our contaminated environments. The more we delve into this research, the more efficiently we can treat and prevent the onset of issues surrounding mould exposure. As technology and medicine advance, our understanding widens. The future of preventive and integrative medicine will expand with this, and help improve the everyday lives of people across the globe.
How do I Become a Functional Medicine Practitioner to learn more about the Effects of Mould on the Brain?
The Institute of Integrative Medicine is a global leader in the field of Integrative Medicine Education. Integrative medicine aims to be at the forefront of modern technology and new discoveries. Exposure to mould can lead to detrimental effects on brain health. It is essential to know how to deal with mould exposure to mitigate these effects. We offer certified online courses helping you to take charge of your practice and improve the quality of life for your patients. Find out more about the courses we offer today!