One of the many connections being researched is between Parkinson’s Disease and mold exposure. Researcher Dr. Bennett, began to notice that the gaseous odors and molds after Katrina began making her sick. She eventually moved to New Jersey and worked with the researchers at Emory University of Atlanta, GA, to explore the possible link between Parkinson’s Disease and mold exposure.
What is Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s Disease is a degenerative, neurological disorder which progresses over time. Certain nerve cells in the brain begin to die, which cause the levels of the neurotransmitter, dopamine, to drop. Some of the commonly recognized symptoms include tremors, difficulty with precise movement, stiff or rigid muscles, and depression.
While scientists aren’t exactly sure what it is that causes Parkinson’s Disease to develop, they do know that it’s a mixture of both genetics and environmental factors. Judith Stern of U.C. Davis put it best when she said, “The genes load the gun, and the environment pulls the trigger.” In other words, you may have a genetic predisposition to developing Parkinson’s, but you won’t necessarily develop the disease unless you are exposed to one of the environmental triggers.
Parkinson’s Disease and Mold Exposure; Connection Found in Flies
While the Parkinson’s Disease and mold exposure connection has not been studied thoroughly in humans, they did discover a semiochemical in the fungus, 1-octen-3-ol, which proved to reduce dopamine levels in flies. They also found a way to rescue and protect the flies from exposure to the fungus. Through this research, they hypothesize that the 1-octen-3-ol compound may be a naturally-occurring substance which can trigger the onset or worsening of Parkinson’s Disease symptoms. (Study findings published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, December 2013).
If you suspect you have been exposed to mold and it’s affecting your health, it’s important that you make an appointment with your doctor, then contact one of our Healthy Way professionals to schedule your FREE initial mold inspection.