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    Re: MCS brought on by toxid mold

    Posted by C. Williams on 12/15/04


    I've heard Shoomaker speak and this guy is a "true-believer" a
    real "kool-aid drinker". I really don't know where the truth lies in
    all this, but listening to him makes me think of him more as a saleman
    more than a doc. Oh yeah, did you know he has *another* book out for
    sale? That makes #5.

    One that that really got me interested is that, when he went through his
    presentation, he gave a forceful discussion of the tests he used to
    determine that his patients were victims of mold biotoxicity. Well, it
    just so happens that all these tests were individually used to test for
    some other condition originally. In the end, you can basically make
    them say what you want them to say if they are being used for something
    never intended.

    Seems to me that the whole problem. Shoomaker is emblematic of the
    growth industry characterized by "expert witnesses", plaintiffs'
    lawyers, remediators, etc... that are determined to make a buck off of
    something that we really still know very little about.

    Everybody needs to be very careful about what they read and believe.
    There is a lot of snake oil out there right now.


    On 10/14/04, dd wrote:
    > Angie,
    > Thank you for sharing the fruit of your research.
    > dd
    > On 10/13/04, Angie wrote:
    >> Hi all. I don't know who Sharon is. I am Angie and new to the
    >> board. All I meant by "get a piece of the pie," is that you should be
    >> willing to educate yourself about toxic mold and its effects for the
    >> sake of understanding victims and also for prevention. If you are
    >> hard hearted enough to not do it for those reasons, and are willing
    >> to learn more in order to take on more cases (for business purposes,)
    >> then do it. I don't care why you educate yourself, just do it. I
    >> say this with confidence because I believe that regardless to your
    >> motives for learning more about toxic mold, you will learn more and
    >> become more sensitive to victims and their needs. I believe that as
    >> public awareness and proof grows, you'll finally resign yourself to
    >> believing that toxic mold causes illness.
    >> Mary, I'm not trying to sound harsh or irrational. I'm speaking from
    >> my experience. After all, isn't that all we truly know? I know
    >> you're not here to make friends, but your tone and responses have
    >> been very insensitive to those who know first hand what this mold can
    >> do. If I sound overly sensitive, I am. It's because I've had to try
    >> to convince people for the last few years that I'm not crazy. That
    >> my symptoms aren't psychosymatic. I never wanted to believe that my
    >> house could be making me sick. I didn't make this stuff up. You
    >> think I want to look crazy to people? I'm not a hypochondriac. I
    >> believe that my family will get better. I believe that someday there
    >> will be a treatment for the conditions we all now have.
    >> Hypochondriacs don't wish to get better. I do. If you were to poll
    >> hundreds of mold victims from around the country that have never met,
    >> you'd find that we all share similar symptoms and diseases. While
    >> some symptoms vary, there is a very common list of symptoms that we
    >> share. If we have never met or talked to one another, but the one
    >> trauma we all share is exposure to toxic mold, and we all share a
    >> common list of symptoms, how can we all be making it up?
    >> I am sharing this information in hopes to educate people. My wish is
    >> to not insult anyone. Everyone is entitled to their opinion,
    >> including you Mary. I just want to squelch the lack of compassion
    >> and insensitive comments that so many victims have to continually
    >> hear from "so called" professional people that know nothing, nor take
    >> the time to learn anything about their situation. So please take
    >> what I share and learn about it.
    >> I truly pray that none of you ever have to experience what my family
    >> has experienced. We were a family full of dreams and aspirations for
    >> one another. My 2 children are very artistically talented and were
    >> accepted into a prestigous art school. Their education has now been
    >> greatly hindered due to their health problems and everyday has become
    >> a constant struggle to keep them motivated and encouraged. They have
    >> given up. So understand that this isn't about me. It's about
    >> thousands of innocent children out there. School children that are
    >> being exposed to moldy schools, teachers being made ill, and adults
    >> that are great contributors to society that are suddently taken from
    >> our work force and disabled. It's not as small as my family, it's a
    >> grave injustice to our entire nation and our nation's future.
    >> Here are some scientific studies that you may find helpful. There
    >> are a lot of good books out there, but there are a lot of quacks
    >> also. The only book I truly recommend for good evidence is "Mold &
    >> Mycotoxins," by Dr. Kaye H. Kilburn, M.D.
    >> She worked very closely with Dr. Dorr Dearborn (Case Western
    >> University/Children's Hospital, Cleveland, Ohio)who is famous for
    >> finding a link between pulmonary hemorrage in infants and mold
    >> exposure. Both are reknowned for their work in the area of mold
    >> treatment and studies.
    >> I have a copy of the testimony Dr. Stephen C. Redd, from the CDC and
    >> The Department of Health and Human Services gave before Congress
    >> saying that mold can cause health problems. I would be happy to send
    >> it to anyone that is interested. These studies may be difficult to
    >> read and very lengthy. I would love to pass them on to anyone that
    >> would like to have copies. Anyone that wants to contact me can email
    >> me at Thank you for taking the time to
    >> read this.
    >> Angie
    >> Indoor mold exposure associated with neurobehavioral and
    >> pulmonary impairment: a preliminary report
    >> by PubMed
    >> Kilburn KH.
    >> University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine,
    >> Environmental Sciences
    >> Laboratory, Alhambra, California 91803, USA.
    >> Recently, patients who have been exposed indoors to mixed molds,
    >> spores, and
    >> mycotoxins have reported asthma, airway irritation and bleeding,
    >> dizziness, and
    >> impaired memory and concentration, all of which suggest the presence
    >> of pulmonary
    >> and neurobehavioral problems. The author evaluated whether such
    >> patients had
    >> measurable pulmonary and neurobehavioral impairments by comparing
    >> consecutive
    >> cases in a series vs. a referent group. Sixty-five consecutive
    >> outpatients exposed to
    >> mold in their respective homes in Arizona, California, and Texas were
    >> compared with
    >> 202 community subjects who had no known mold or chemical exposures.
    >> Balance,
    >> choice reaction time, color discrimination, blink reflex, visual
    >> fields, grip, hearing,
    >> problem-solving, verbal recall, perceptual motor speed, and memory
    >> were
    >> measured. Medical histories, mood states, and symptom frequencies
    >> were recorded
    >> with checklists, and spirometry was used to measure various pulmonary
    >> volumes
    >> and flows. Neurobehavioral comparisons were made after individual
    >> measurements
    >> were adjusted for age, educational attainment, and sex. Significant
    >> differences
    >> between groups were assessed by analysis of variance; a p value of
    >> less than 0.05
    >> was used for all statistical tests. The mold-exposed group exhibited
    >> decreased
    >> function for balance, reaction time, blink-reflex latency, color
    >> discrimination, visual
    >> fields, and grip, compared with referents. The exposed group's scores
    >> were reduced
    >> for the following tests: digit-symbol substitution, peg placement,
    >> trail making, verbal
    >> recall, and picture completion. Twenty-one of 26 functions tested
    >> were abnormal.
    >> Airway obstructions were found, and vital capacities were reduced.
    >> Mood state scores
    >> and symptom frequencies were elevated. The author concluded that
    >> indoor mold
    >> exposures were associated with neurobehavioral and pulmonary
    >> impairments that
    >> likely resulted from the presence of mycotoxins, such as
    >> trichothecenes.
    >> Publication Types:
    >> • Clinical Trial
    >> • Controlled Clinical Trial
    >> • Randomized Controlled Trial
    >> PMID: 15143851 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
    >> *********************************************************
    >> 1: Arch Environ Health. 2003 Aug;58(8):464-74. Related
    > Articles,
    >> Links
    >> Neural autoantibodies and neurophysiologic abnormalities in patients
    >> exposed to molds in water-damaged buildings.
    >> Campbell AW, Thrasher JD, Madison RA, Vojdani A, Gray MR, Johnson A.
    >> Medical Center for Immune and Toxic Disorders, Spring, Texas 77386,
    >> USA.
    >> Adverse health effects of fungal bioaerosols on occupants of water-
    >> damaged homes and other buildings have been reported. Recently, it
    >> has been suggested that mold exposure causes neurological injury. The
    >> authors investigated neurological antibodies and neurophysiological
    >> abnormalities in patients exposed to molds at home who developed
    >> symptoms of peripheral neuropathy (i.e., numbness, tingling, tremors,
    >> and muscle weakness in the extremities). Serum samples were collected
    >> and analyzed with the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)
    >> technique for antibodies to myelin basic protein, myelin-associated
    >> glycoprotein, ganglioside GM1, sulfatide, myelin oligodendrocyte
    >> glycoprotein, alpha-B-crystallin, chondroitin sulfate, tubulin, and
    >> neurofilament. Antibodies to molds and mycotoxins were also
    >> determined with ELISA, as reported previously. Neurophysiologic
    >> evaluations for latency, amplitude, and velocity were performed on 4
    >> motor nerves (median, ulnar, peroneal, and tibial), and for latency
    >> and amplitude on 3 sensory nerves (median, ulnar, and sural).
    >> Patients with documented, measured exposure to molds had elevated
    >> titers of antibodies (immunoglobulin [Ig]A, IgM, and IgG) to neural-
    >> specific antigens. Nerve conduction studies revealed 4 patient
    >> groupings: (1) mixed sensory-motor polyneuropathy (n = 55, abnormal),
    >> (2) motor neuropathy (n = 17, abnormal), (3) sensory neuropathy (n =
    >> 27, abnormal), and (4) those with symptoms but no neurophysiological
    >> abnormalities (n = 20, normal controls). All groups showed
    >> significantly increased autoantibody titers for all isotypes (IgA,
    >> IgM, and IgG) of antibodies to neural antigens when compared with 500
    >> healthy controls. Groups 1 through 3 also exhibited abnormal
    >> neurophysiologic findings. The authors concluded that exposure to
    >> molds in water-damaged buildings increased the risk for development
    >> of neural autoantibodies, peripheral neuropathy, and neurophysiologic
    >> abnormalities in exposed individuals.
    >> PMID: 15259425 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
    >> ********************************************************
    >> Show:
    >> 1: Arch Environ Health. 2003 Aug;58(8):452-63. Related
    > Articles,
    >> Links
    >> Psychological, neuropsychological, and electrocortical effects of
    >> mixed mold exposure.
    >> Crago BR, Gray MR, Nelson LA, Davis M, Arnold L, Thrasher JD.
    >> Neurobehavioral Health Services, Tucson, Arizona 85712, USA.
    >> The authors assessed the psychological, neuropsychological, and
    >> electrocortical effects of human exposure to mixed colonies of
    >> toxigenic molds. Patients (N = 182) with confirmed mold-exposure
    >> history completed clinical interviews, a symptom checklist (SCL-90-
    >> R), limited neuropsychological testing, quantitative
    >> electroencephalogram (QEEG) with neurometric analysis, and measures
    >> of mold exposure. Patients reported high levels of physical,
    >> cognitive, and emotional symptoms. Ratings on the SCL-90-R
    >> were "moderate" to "severe," with a factor reflecting situational
    >> depression accounting for most of the variance. Most of the patients
    >> were found to suffer from acute stress, adjustment disorder, or post-
    >> traumatic stress. Differential diagnosis confirmed an etiology of a
    >> combination of external stressors, along with organic metabolically
    >> based dysregulation of emotions and decreased cognitive functioning
    >> as a result of toxic or metabolic encephalopathy. Measures of toxic
    >> mold exposure predicted QEEG measures and neuropsychological test
    >> performance. QEEG results included narrowed frequency bands and
    >> increased power in the alpha and theta bands in the frontal areas of
    >> the cortex. These findings indicated a hypoactivation of the frontal
    >> cortex, possibly due to brainstem involvement and insufficient
    >> excitatory input from the reticular activating system.
    >> Neuropsychological testing revealed impairments similar to mild
    >> traumatic brain injury. In comparison with premorbid estimates of
    >> intelligence, findings of impaired functioning on multiple cognitive
    >> tasks predominated. A dose-response relationship between measures of
    >> mold exposure and abnormal neuropsychological test results and QEEG
    >> measures suggested that toxic mold causes significant problems in
    >> exposed individuals. Study limitations included lack of a comparison
    >> group, patient selection bias, and incomplete data sets that did not
    >> allow for comparisons among variables.
    >> PMID: 15259424 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
    >> ****************************************************
    >> 1: ScientificWorldJournal. 2003 Nov 3;3:1058-64. Print 2003 Nov 3.
    >> Related Articles, Links
    >> Biochemical changes in the serum of patients with chronic toxigenic
    >> mold exposures: a risk factor for multiple renal dysfunctions.
    >> Anyanwu E, Campbell AW, Vojdani A, Ehiri JE, Akpan AI.
    >> Neurosciences Research, Cahers Inc., Conroe, TX, USA.
    >> This paper analyzes and presents the biochemical abnormalities in the
    >> sera of patients presenting with chronic mycosis in order to
    >> investigate the relationship with the risks of multiple renal
    >> disorders. The study population (n = 10) consisted of six females and
    >> four males (mean age 36.3 years) exposed by toxic molds in their
    >> homes and offices for an average of 2.8 years. The control group
    >> comprised ten people, five males and five females (mean age 35.9
    >> years) without any known exposures to toxic molds. Blood samples were
    >> obtained from both the patients and the controls and were processed
    >> using specific biochemical methods that included enzyme-linked
    >> immunoabsorbent assay (ELISA). There were biochemical abnormal
    >> concentrations in creatinine, uric acid, phosphorus, alkaline
    >> phosphotase, cholesterol, HDH, SGOT/AST, segmented neutrophils,
    >> lymphocytes, total T3, IgG and IgA immunoglobulins with significant
    >> differences between patients and controls. These abnormalities were
    >> consistent with multiple renal disorders. The major complaints of the
    >> mycosis patients were headaches, pulmonary symptoms, allergic
    >> reactions, memory loss, skin rashes, blurred vision symptoms,
    >> fatigue, and runny nose. These findings were depictive of a strong
    >> association of chronic mycosis with abnormal renal indicators. It was
    >> concluded that, although this research was a pilot investigation,
    >> based on the overall results, people exposed to chronic indoor
    >> environmental toxic molds were at risk of multiple renal
    >> complications.
    >> PMID: 14612611 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
    >> *****************************************************
    >> 1: Arch Environ Health. 2003 Jul;58(7):442-6. Related
    >> Links
    >> Health symptoms caused by molds in a courthouse.
    >> Lee TG.
    >> Faculty of Environmental Design, The University of Calgary, Calgary,
    >> Alberta, Canada.
    >> A majority of occupants of a newly renovated historic courthouse in
    >> Calgary, Alberta, Canada, reported multiple (3 or more) health-
    >> related symptoms, and several reported more than 10 persistent
    >> symptoms. Most required at least 1 day outside of the building to
    >> recover from their symptoms. Molds that produce mycotoxins, such as
    >> Stachybotrys chartarum and Emericella nidulans, were identified in
    >> the building, along with fungal organisms of the genera Aspergillus,
    >> Penicillium, Streptomyces, Cladosporium, Chaetomium, Rhizopus/Mucor,
    >> Alternaria, Ulocladium, and Basidiomycetes. Renovations to this
    >> historic had building failed to provide adequate thermal and vapor
    >> barriers, thus allowing moist indoor air to migrate into the building
    >> enclosure, causing condensation to develop. Mold grew on the
    >> condensation and was dispersed throughout the courthouse, including
    >> on furniture and files. The courthouse was closed and a new facility
    >> was modified with low-offgassing materials, better ventilation and
    >> air filtration, and strict building maintenance to accommodate those
    >> occupants of the older building who had developed multiple chemical
    >> sensitivities.
    >> PMID: 15143857 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
    >> **************************************************
    >> Abstract: Identifying markers for chronic illness in pediatric
    >> patients exposed to water damaged buildings: Linkage disequilibrium
    >> of HLA DR, MSH, MMP9 and autoantibodies
    >> Authors: Ritchie C. Shoemaker¹, Courtney Holt¹, Dennis House¹, HK
    >> Hudnell²
    >> ¹Center for Research on Biotoxin Associated Illnesses, Pocomoke, Md;
    >> ²US EPA NHEERL, Research Triangle Park, NC
    >> Background: No studies have previously identified biomarkers
    >> adequate to create a case definition of illness associated with
    >> exposure to water damaged buildings (WDB) in pediatric patients.
    >> Previous work from this facility has presented a case definition of
    >> illness in adults that includes exposure, symptoms and absence of
    >> confounders, together with biomarkers HLA DR genotypes of the immune
    >> response genes; deficiency of the hypothalamic immunomodulatory
    >> hormone, alpha melanocyte stimulating hormone (MSH); excess pro-
    >> inflammatory cytokine responses, represented by matrix
    >> metalloproteinase-9 (MMP9), deficits in visual contrast and pituitary
    >> hormone dysregulation. We have seen an increased incidence of
    >> antibodies to gliadin, cardiolipin and myelin basic protein in adults
    >> with chronic illness following exposure to WDB. Here we present data
    >> supporting a pediatric case definition using multiple biomarkers from
    >> 66 patients with illness following exposure to WDB.
    >> Methods: Patients under age 19 coming for treatment of chronic
    >> illness at a specialized medical clinic provided informed consent for
    >> evaluation and blood testing prior to initiation of definitive
    >> therapy for presumptive chronic, biotoxin associated illness.
    >> Symptoms were recorded and blood was sent to national high complexity
    >> labs for analysis of HLA DR genotype, MSH, MMP9, anticardiolipins
    >> (ACLA), antigliadins (AGA) and myelin basic protein (MBP) antibodies.
    >> Lab parameters were compared to in-house registries of control
    >> patients and published registries. Following treatment and
    >> confirmation of diagnosis, cases were then analyzed by biomarker to
    >> identify unique diagnostic features.
    >> Results: Control populations have markedly different HLA DR genotype
    >> distributions from cases, with relative risks for illness identified
    >> for the same genotypes as reported previously in adults. Affected
    >> patients had lower levels of MSH and MMP9 than controls. Marked
    >> increase in incidence of antibodies to antigliadin IgG,
    >> anticardiolipin IgM and myelin basic protein antibodies was found in
    >> affected patients compared to controls. Taken together, the
    >> combination of potential for exposure, absence of confounding
    >> diagnoses, presence of distinctive groupings of symptoms, including
    >> fatigue and cognitive problems identified over 85&37; of cases.
    > Adding
    >> HLA DR, MSH deficiency, AGA-IgG and ACLA-IgM increased the case
    >> detection rate to 100&37;. For patients with MMP9 over 400, HLA DR
    > and
    >> MSH deficiency alone identified all cases.
    >> Conclusion: Specific genetic, physiologic and neurotoxicologic
    >> factors can be identified in pediatric patients that identify cases
    >> of chronic illness due to exposure to WDB. Physiologic mechanisms
    >> associated with increased production of particular autoantibodies
    >> will require further study.

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