I Was Wrong About Mold

Mold on wall surface

Okay, I have to admit when I am wrong.  Many times I have said that there seems to be no ill health issue that mold cannot cause.  In digging for any new information on mold toxicity, I ran across this article from 2016.  While even the authors admit that more research could be done to confirm their finding, I agree that their research reasonably undermines a possible connection between autism and mold toxicity… as least from the mold toxins they studied.

When blaming mold for a myriad of my patient’s symptoms, I really had no strong feelings that mold toxicity was causing autism.  On the other hand, two aspects of my care are unchanged.  First, if a child with autism displays symptoms of mold toxicity, I still test for that possibility.  Second, the PANS/PANDAS complex (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Syndrome or Pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric syndrome associated with strep) in children will still merit an evaluation for mold toxicity along with strep infection.

Hopefully, the investigators will finish their work with the following further study.  On one hand they need to look at other mycotoxins besides their short list.  On the other hand, they should investigate the possibility of past exposure which triggered autism but has since disappeared due to a family’s move.  Finally, the mother’s pre-natal exposure is worthy of investigation in the opinion of this functional MD seeking the understand everything I can about mold’s effects on patient’s health.

Duringer, J., Fombonne, E., & Craig, M. (2016). No Association between Mycotoxin Exposure and Autism: A Pilot Case-Control Study in School-Aged Children. Toxins, 8(7), 224. http://doi.org/10.3390/toxins8070224

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