Mold exposure and Links to Alzheimer’s dementia

Exposure to indoor mold, bacteria, water damage, and particulates have been associated with development of dementia.  A case series was presented of 7 patients (aged 50 to 72 years, mean age 57) who developed Alzheimer’s type III dementia following documented exposure to indoor mold and water damage 1. 

Type III Alzheimer’s typically involves relatively young patients who are ApoE4 negative, and whose onset typically involves early features such as dyscalculia (difficulties with arithmetic) and aphasia (language difficulties)

Epidemiological evidence also suggests a link between indoor mold and water exposure and dementia 3.  Finland has the highest rate of dementia deaths in the world, and also has a very humid climate in which relative humidity often exceeds 80% in the winter. 

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Indoor mold problems are very common in Finland, with recent studies reporting 80% of homes with current moisture or past moisture problems  and 38% homes with visible mold. Other possible triggers for high dementia risk in Finland include elevated mercury from a high fish diet, beta-N-methylamino-L-alanine from cyanobacteria, and low selenium levels in diet 
3 .

References / Sources

1.              Bredesen DE. Inhalational Alzheimer’s disease: an unrecognized – and treatable – epidemic. Aging (Albany NY). 2016;8(2):304-313.

2.              Bredesen DE. Metabolic profiling distinguishes three subtypes of Alzheimer’s disease. Aging (Albany NY). 2015;7(8):595-600.

3.              Eiser AR. Why Does Finland Have the Highest Dementia Mortality Rate? Environmental Factors May Be Generalizable. Brain Res. 2017.



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