Fungal toxins and multiple sclerosis: a compelling connection

Brain Res Bull. 2010 Apr 29;82(1-2):4-6. doi: 10.1016/j.brainresbull.2010.02.012. Epub 2010 Mar 7.


Multiple sclerosis occurs as a consequence of central nervous system neuronal demyelination. Decades of research suggest that the primary suspects (e.g., viruses, genes, immune system) are associative rather than causative agents, but a surprisingly coherent relationship can be made between multiple sclerosis and fungal toxins. Specifically, certain pathogenic fungi sequester in non-neuronal tissue and release toxins that target and destroy CNS astrocytes and oligodendrocytes. Without these glial support cells, myelin degrades triggering the onset of multiple sclerosis and its associated symptoms. We propose here that fungal toxins are the underlying cause of multiple sclerosis and thus may offer an avenue towards an effective cure.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Fungi / pathogenicity*
  • Humans
  • Multiple Sclerosis* / immunology
  • Multiple Sclerosis* / microbiology
  • Multiple Sclerosis* / pathology
  • Mycotoxins / immunology
  • Mycotoxins / toxicity*
  • Neuroglia / drug effects
  • Neuroglia / microbiology


  • Mycotoxins