This study investigated the effects of mold exposure (ME) on human cognition by analyzing neuropsychological data from patients who were exposed to mold in their homes or workplaces. Compared to normative data, ME patients were impaired (<10th percentile) on a number of cognitive measures, with the most consistent deficits in visuospatial learning, visuospatial memory, verbal learning, and psychomotor speed. We also examined emotional functioning and found that a number of ME patients showed evidence of both Axis I and Axis II pathology. Interestingly, there was a significant correlation among patients' scores on the Beck Depression Inventory-Second Edition and the number of neuropsychological tests falling within the impaired range. Given the limited understanding of ME and its effect on the human central nervous system, we provide a working model that attempts to capture the complex interactions of impaired cognition, psychosocial stressors, poor physical health, and emotional functioning in patients following ME.
Keywords: mold exposure, mild traumatic brain injury, toxic exposure