Mold Growth Might Cause Parkinson’s-like Symptoms – Advanced Mold Diagnostics

Just down the road at Rutgers University, a recent study has concluded that mold growth may cause similar symptoms as Parkinson’s disease. The findings were recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and how this team of researchers got to this conclusion regarding these shocking mold side effects is a fascinating story, and one that starts very close to home for the team leader, Joan Bennett.

Joan Bennett is Rutgers’ own resident fungus expert. Being a skeptic of “sick building syndrome,” which has been one of the main causes in the rise in mold inspections and mold remediation, she never fully supported the idea that the air inside of the places that we dwell can make us sick. Well, she was proved wrong.


Owning a home in New Orleans, she definitely experienced one of the leading causes of severe in-home mold growth when Hurricane Katrina cause her home to flood in 2005. She did what any biologist would do, and decided to take samples of the growth in her home so she could study them in her temporary home, New Jersey. While she was collecting these samples, she noticed that she felt ill, experiencing nausea, dizziness, and headaches despite the fact that she was wearing a face mask and protective gear. This experience led to the new research discovery.

Her and her colleagues, while studying her samples discovered the fruit flies develop Parkinson’s like symptoms from a particular chemical that is emitted from the mold. Rutgers researchers exposed a crop of fruit flies to various mold types and recorded the reactions. One particular mold type, called mushroom alcohol by the Japanese scientist who discovered it had an immediate effect on the flies and all symptoms that all of the flies in the group exposed to this mold type mimicked Parkinson’s disease. Another chemical that these flies were exposed to showed the ability to block dopamine, the chemical that allows our nerves to function properly. This research is just the tip of the iceberg in regards to what these mold related chemicals can do to us.

Because of these findings, her and her team is now examining the mold that was left behind in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Thus far, in her research, Bennett says that the different mold species that she has found amongst the growth in Sandy damaged homes have been different than those collected during Katrina. This is mainly due to the fact that the water conditions were different between the two storms, which created two completely different environments for mold to grow.

Bennett says that just because mold has these effects on people, it does not mean that you should panic over a small amount of household mold. Flooding, Nor’easters, and other natural disasters can cause the dangerous growth that she hypothesizes it would take in order to have the same effects on humans.

That being said, there are people out there who have suffered damage from natural or man-caused disasters and have not had their homes inspected or repaired. If you fall into this category, after reading this article, we hope that you realize how important it is to have a mold inspection on your home. Do not delay this any longer for your safety as well as the safety of your family.