According to a Nov. 11 story on NJ.com, Rutgers researchers have found that fruit flies exposed to mold came down with symptoms that are similar to Parkinson’s Disease, a breakthrough discovery in the potential health issues that may be caused by mold exposure.
From the story:
“The Rutgers study exposed fruit flies to various chemicals emitted by molds. One particular mold – dubbed "mushroom alcohol" by the Japanese scientist who isolated it in the 1930s – had an immediate impact on the fruit flies, said Arati Inamdar, the researcher at Rutgers’ School of Environmental and Biological Sciences.
The fruit flies displayed tremors, a slow gait, with postural imbalance and problems with locomotion – all consistent with the signs of Parkinson’s disease. "You can see all this on these flies that were exposed to this chemical," (fungus expert Joan Bennet) said.
Further study showed the toxic chemical is able to block two important genes that regulate dopamine – the chemical that allows nerve cells to communicate.”
What’s interesting is that researchers attempted to expose the flies to the mold chemicals on the scale of what a human would encounter in a typical moldy building.