Parkinson’s Disease and Mold

Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer’s disease. While there is no clear cause for most people, experts believe they have pinpointed certain factors that may increase risk. 

There is emerging evidence linking Parkinson’s and environmental factors. Exposure to mold is most commonly associated with allergies and asthma. However, it is now thought to be associated with many complex health problems, since black mold species such as Aspergillus, Fusarium and Stachybotrys. These black molds produce mycotoxins that are toxic to central parts of the body, including the brain.

Parkinson’s disease symptoms are different for different people. Some are hard for even doctors to detect. Others are obvious even to an untrained eye.

Parkinson’s disease can impact how you feel and think:

  • Apathy: lack of motivation and interest in activities
  • Memory or thinking (cognitive) problems: vary widely; range from multitasking and concentration difficulties that don’t interfere with daily activities (mild cognitive impairment) to significant problems that impact a job and daily and social activities (dementia)
  • Mood disturbances: depression (sadness, loss of energy, decreased interest in activities) and anxiety (uncontrollable worry)
  • Psychosis: seeing things that aren’t there (visual hallucinations) and having false, often paranoid, beliefs (delusions), such as that a spouse is being unfaithful or money is being stolen
  • Other Physical Changes

Parkinson’s can cause other difficulties, as well:

  • Drooling: build up of saliva because of decreased swallowing
  • Pain: discomfort in one body part or the entire body
  • Skin changes: oily or dry skin; increased risk of melanoma
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness or fatigue: feeling drowsy, sluggish or exhausted; may be symptoms on their own or result from Parkinson’s medications
  • Smell loss: decreased ability to detect odors
  • Speech problems: speaking in a soft and monotone voice and sometimes slurring words or mumbling
  • Swallowing problems: choking, coughing and clearing the throat when eating and drinking
  • Vision changes: dry eyes, double vision and trouble reading
  • Sleep problems: insomnia (difficulty falling or staying asleep), restless legs syndrome (an uncomfortable sensation in the legs that goes away with moving them) or REM sleep behavior disorder (acting out dreams)
  • Weight changes: mild to moderate weight loss

When the environmental conditions are right and toxic black molds begin to grow, they produce by-products that are released from the growth area, they include MVOCs, Spores, and Mycotoxins. Many mycotoxins are neurotoxins causing lesions in the brain in the grey matter and the white matter. This directly affects the neurons function which can create neurological disorders like Parkinson’s. Parkinson’s disease occurs when the nerve cells in the brain that make dopamine are slowly destroyed. Without dopamine, the nerve cells in that part of the brain cannot properly send messages.

Published research from Rutgers and Emory universities indicated that 1-octen-3-ol (mushroom alcohol),  one of the MVOCs produced by toxic molds in water damaged buildings, could trigger Parkinson’s disease. The compound was shown to cause changes in fruit flies’ brains similar to those of patients with Parkinson disease. These findings suggest that 1-octen-3-ol may represent a naturally occurring environmental agent involved in the development of Parkinson disease. The mold compound also caused reduced dopamine levels and dopamine neuron degeneration.

-BRAIN IMAGING SHOWING LOSS IN SEROTONIN FUNCTION AS PARKINSON’S DISEASE PROGRESSES

In a recent report by the Environmental Health Center-Dallas, 100 members were analyzed with an end goal to reveal how dangerous mold exposure can influence the mind and lead to psychological and emotional disorders. After the mold exposure, sensory system difficulties were seen in all of the patients. Brain imaging examines distinguished anomalies in a critical segment of the patients. Neuron function was observed to drop significant resulting in neurological damage.

Harmful toxic mold exposure has been connected to increasingly genuine, long haul impacts like memory loss, sleeping disorders, tension, dejection, and nerve damage. Research is still underway for neurological dysfunction and environmental toxins. You can follow this topic here.

Mold can be lethal. The risks of mold exposure can lead to adverse health effects. If you suspect your home is contaminated, you will need to find a professional to test the extent of the damage. Since this living organism grows over time, a top to bottom inspection is absolutely necessary.

The information contained on this site is for informational and educational purposes only. It does not represent a health diagnosis, therapeutic recommendation or prescription for treatment. We urge you to consult and obtain medical advice from a licensed, trained, and competent medical provider for concerns with health issues. 

  1. The Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease by Monascus purpureus NTU 568-Fermented Compounds
  2. Inamdar, Arati A.; Muhammad M. Hossain; Alison I. Bernstein; Gary W. Miller; Jason R. Richardson; and Joan Wennstrom Bennett (2013). Fungal-derived semiochemical 1-octen-3-ol disrupts dopamine packaging and causes neurodegeneration. PNAS 2013; published ahead of print November 11, 2013.
  3. Korpi, Anne; Jill Järnberg and Anna-Liisa Pasanen(2009). Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds. Critical Reviews in Toxicology, February 2009, Vol. 39, No. 2: Pages 139-193
  4. https://www.parkinson.org/