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Does Mold Affect Your Brain?

We’ve all heard of mildew, and some of us know about black mold, but do you know what mold can do to your health? Mold is actually a toxin, and it releases toxic gas and spores into the air. When the toxins enter your body, via skin or air, the toxic gases cause a disturbance in many organs, including your brain.

Often confused as just allergies, or “just being out of it,” mold infections can affect cognitive function, especially in the frontal cortical area.

Is it Mold Toxicity or Stress?

When mold toxicity occurs, many dysfunctions can occur, and add psychological distress, or feelings of “craziness.”

Since the 1950’s when drywall began replacing plaster, high-efficiency, energy-saving appliances are smaller and more airtight for many houses. This has increased the reports of mold infections and their drastic indicators.

Scary Symptoms of Mold Infection or Mold Toxicity:

  • Psychological distress
  • Exhaustion
  • Changes in touch or sensation
  • Muscle weakness
  • Vertigo
  • Coordination problems
  • Mental fog
  • Breathing problems
  • Digestive issues

Is it TBI, Lyme Disease or a Mold Infection?

Traumatic brain injuries, Lyme disease, and mold infections have very similar symptoms. These conditions are often associated with brain fog, memory loss, insomnia, and even nausea. Because TBIs are often painful and frightening, people tend to seek help more immediately.

Symptoms of a TBI appear suddenly and can last for years, which is why many of these illnesses are misdiagnosed as something else.

When a mold infection isn’t misdiagnosed as Lyme or a TBI, it’s often diagnosed as other brain conditions because of the symptoms. The sudden “brain fog” and memory loss allows for people to simply write it off as getting older, while depression and anxiety symptoms seem to signal mental illness.

How Can You Treat a Mold Infection?

Because of the long-term effects of mold, it is often misdiagnosed, and therefore mistreated, leaving the person even more frustrated, and still suffering from the distressing side effects of mold toxicity.

If you even think your symptoms are similar to a mold infection, it’s important to get a comprehensive evaluation. The first three things we’d do to help are:

  • Contain or stop the exposure
  • Boost your detoxification pathways
  • Increase your levels of vitamin D

An Amen Clinics full evaluation uses SPECT brain imaging to assess the brain’s function and brain flow, while other tests confirm and help to find other conditions. Because there are often other concurrent conditions, it’s even more vital to find out everything, and not just treat the side effects.

Many people have found hope and help at Amen Clinics, just like Kimberlyn. She went from an active, organized person, to feeling exhausted and out of sorts. When she went to her doctor, he did a series of tests and found that she was suffering from mold illness. She began treatments, and after her full evaluation, Kimberlyn was finally diagnosed, treated, and her symptoms gradually improved.

If you or a loved one has symptoms that sound a lot like Kimberlyn’s contact Amen Clinics today, or call 888-288-9834 and find the hope you’ve been looking for.


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  1. lihtgvr says:

    I wish I could print out this article.

  2. Joanne says:

    So, plaster doesn’t get moldy like drywall can?

    • David Willhite says:

      Drywall has a paper coating the mold can use as food. However, plaster is usually over wooden slats, which if wet, could be similar to paper and house mold.

  3. Cindy Carista says:

    Just moved out of a house full of black mold and had a ct scan of my brain today,and the idiot land lord is just going to paint over it and rent it again.

    • suemenow says:

      Can you call the county health department or some dept that might actually care, about the condition of his house?

    • Linda Brandon says:

      I’m so sorry to hear this. I was diagnosed with toxic mold syndrome recently after 12 exhausting & miserable years. I had to find an out of state doctor to help me. Four years and $12k out of my pocket now I know what’s wrong with me. My landlord is my father. He won’t pay for mold remediation even though black mold in bathroom. I can’t afford to move as I haven’t been able to work full time for 10 years. Can’t apply for disability while still living in moldy condo.

      • Dianne Shaw says:

        If you have medical documentation about your symptoms and any fit SS’s/Medicare’s guidelines for disability, get all your documentation from every doctor you have seen as well as hospital tests, in order (not easy but can be accomplished without a lawyer,) go to the SS Office after downloading and filling out forms you can get on-line. You may qualify for a lump sum (which a lawyer would take,) as well as disability (depending on what you paid into SS or use any husband’s or significant other’s SS if you were together at least 10 years and filed joint income tax forms. Could you stay with a friend or relative for a while? You need to get out of that environment NOW! Good luck and God bless.

        • Chuck says:

          Linda, Stop dampness problem (fix leaks). Spray w/Bleach-water solution. Let dry. Prime and paint. Caulk cracks. Done. Maybe open some windows every now and then. Or what, just be there and continue being sick? $30 max. Can’t count on anyone but yourself.

          • Kemmie says:

            Cleaning the surface with a bleach solution and repainting will not solve the problem. If it were that easy, everyone would do it and be fine. We need to do research on the correct way of remediating it. Most of the Problem is not visible to the naked eye.

          • Cheryl says:

            Bleach doesn’t help. It makes black mold grow faster when it comes back! We lived in a condo that had issues, my sons had chronic lung infections. I forced the Landlord to fix it by moving out. It was too late for me to stay after it was removed. This was in So Cal, I’m from Washington State. I knew all about these issues and was able to get the proper treatments. They used another cleaner to wash the walls and kill the mold before they repainted with an anti-mold paint. The cleaner strips color off of anything else it drips on to so be aware. I I don’t remember the name of the product but you can get it at Home Depot type stores. But bleach is the worst thing to use!

          • Kim says:

            This is an incorrect response. When you spray bleach on mold it turns into airborne mycotoxins. Please don’t give advice for something you don’t fully understand.

          • Mark says:

            Please don’t use bleach to remediate mold ..while yes it pushes ba k mold it doesnt kill the spores n like antibiotic resustant bacteria it can exaserbate the problem ….use something like cingrobium that kills the spores than makes a barrier against regrowth ..

      • Eric Wasniewski says:

        Wow, please tell me more about your symtoms, I am a Sufferer of Toxic Mold Poisoning and need more of us to fight this SERIOUS growing Medical Problem, as this generation today tries to live and carry on in our pollution, they won’t have a chance if Mold toxicity occurs daily and they have NO idea of what’s wrong with them ! I’ve been fighting this Illness for 7 years nowand NO ONE wants to acknowledge let alone Believe me, but everytime I leave my home or relatives houses after sleeping over and my face swells up and eyelids, neck swelling and squeezing feeling, and serious fatigue and Insane”Brain Fog” which prevents me from working, I need your story so we can get this out there to everyone that suffers, 90% Percent of us are suffering silently and differently and no one believes them or the Doctors just simply don’t know what to do, let alone realize that it’s MOLD Poisoning.

    • Karin says:

      I am curious to know the outcome of your catscan and any other tests after exposure to the mould.

  4. mothermary112009 says:

    I am sick from head to toe with Mycotoxin Poisoning. I have been to Dr Libbermans clinic in Charleston SC for biodetoxification. I know its a long battle as my IGG Mold blood levels are HIGH. It causes FUNGAL disease and cancer throughout the body. CT SCAN will not show MOLD DISEASE… You need all types of blood work reach out to an Environmental Specialist.

    • Disabledtonya says:

      Did Dr. Lieberman help you? Are you better after you followed his protocol? What detoxification process did he recommend?
      My daughter and I are sick also and I’ve heard of Dr. Lieberman. I was told he really knows what he’s talking about.

      • Tony says:

        You can also try the clinic of Dr. Rick Spoanaugle, near Tampa,Florida in my opinion, the ultimate expert in the US. He has treated mold poisoning for years!
        The fastest cure is Gluthathione by IV, once a day for about 4 weeks and it is gone.
        It cured me and i walked in with an amount of Mold , higher than anyone they had seen before.
        My brain chemistry changed totally!
        Highly recomended.

        • GALE CHADWICK says:

          Once black mold was out did your brain chemistry return to normal or did still feel like you were crazy? I went to an alternative medicine doctor and he treated me with Oregano and we think it’s almost out. The other doctors in Michigan couldn’t do anything, in fact I believe I had it for 1 1/2 years before it was treated. My gallbladder, pancreas, liver and adrenal glands were shutting down according to the alternative doctor. I’m doing about 90% better now, but my brain doesn’t seem right. I want my old personality and confidence back, constantly questioning my judgement and people that knew me before , can’t accept me now. Thank you!

  5. Ana Saldana says:

    Does this article pertain to all molds, or just toxic black mold?

    I evacuated Houston before Hurricane Harvey and won’t go back until the trash is collected, toxic waste sites and chemical companies are inspected. I live near Brays Bayou and my business is in Meyerland. In these two areas the front yards were full of moldy, hot sheetrock. I don’t know if it’s been cleaned up.

    How do we know if these piles of hurricane debris have black mold?

    • Amen Clinics says:

      Hi Ana,

      We are very sorry to hear that you were affected by Hurricane Harvey and it is very smart of you to not return until everything is picked up. These areas should be assessed by professionals in the area and all should be picked up or cleared. Your business should also be checked by a professional if it was affected by any flooding or water damage.

    • lihtgvr says:

      Many molds are toxic, not just black mold. You need to make sure it’s clear in as many ways as possible.
      If you can, I would recommend hiring a mold inspection company yourself also. Try to find one that is familiar with HERTSMI and ERMI testing as they will likely know more ways to test than just conventional air tests. You also may have to use a remediation company to properly remove any molds on a property. If you have house or renters insurance and they cover water damage/mold they should provide these services.

  6. Henry says:

    I not sure if I’m being expose to mold. Apt Bathroom above mine has leaked water at various times onto Wood supporting structure underneath. I’ve seen the wettest there.
    Once I go into the bathroom I start sneezing, nose continue to runn until I take some Bendry it helps
    Systoms are sneezing, runny nose, brain fog, can’t sleep, always tired. Some headaches but overwhelming. A little vertigo when I stand up to do something but then stops after I move around a bit. How do you test for it through blood, skin, saliva.
    How and what and where do I take samples for testing?

    • Chuck says:

      Pour some bleach down your drains, lav, shower, tub, to kill it there and caulk any open cracks, bottom of toilet and and dark moldy areas after spraying them with bleach, then seal it all w/ paint.

  7. Jim says:

    Wonderful article and I think many people don’t realize mold can have this severe of an effect on our brains.

    Although I can’t add anything on the effects mold has on your brain beyond what Dr. Amen has written, we’ve have a ton of useful guides and resources about mold prevention, removal, DIY, etc. that could be a resource to you. It’s all free:


  8. Bob D says:

    My symptoms are:

    *Eyes burning
    *Lungs burning
    *Throwing up
    *Skin irritated
    *Throat itchy
    *Hard to stay focused
    *Feel like I have some sort of mental illness

    I have someone looking at my ac ducts tomorrow morning. My ac guy said my ac unit was blocked up with dirty water. He vacuumed it out and cleaning coil with bleach. He suggested I get the ac ducts checked for ,mold.

  9. Lisa says:

    Does mildew also cause these problems?

    • Adrie says:

      We stay in a house now for 6 months and i started feeling sick after the second month we have black mold growing in and around our house sometimes i feel not well at all never felt like this in my whole live can it be from the toxic in the mold

  10. Pam waggoner says:

    My roof has leaked for 5 years basment has moldy smell i am suffering from some mold sysptoms do you thi nk there is mold and mold spores

  11. Kathy says:

    My whole family has been sick. Over the last two years we went from healthy to tons of medical issues like seizure, neuropathy , RA, shooting pain in head, very tired no energy. We had our roof replaced 2years ago and we were unaware that it was installed incorrectly. For 2 years the roof leaked into the walls of my home. After spending tons of money to prove the company was at fault they would not repair the damage. They just corrected the roof to stop the leak. We are 1 week from moving out and I believe we will get better. I confirm 3 molds in my home. Aspergillosis , pennicillium and cladisporium. Anyone get sick from these?

  12. John Milner says:

    I’ve called two mold drs in florida..sponagle near tampa and minkoff in clearwater fl..both want astronomical amounts of money to treat mold illnesses…wtf?..if someone is poor and suffering from mold why the frek does it cost so much to help someone?..i don’t get it..these people don’t have 4k a week to get treated(dr sponagle)..dr minkoff wanted 10k …doctors are suppose to help heal you..not put you in a financial crisis…

  13. Wendy Hu says:

    I have been suffering from sinusitis problem since June until I started to have stinky discharge from my nose having been prescribed with 2 months of antibiotics ( Amoxillin, Cephalexin, Penicillin) , feeling there might be something rotten inside of head , even my brain.

    I want to see a doctor who can help me with the diagnosis and effective medical treatment instead of making the situation worse .

    Please call me or email me for an appointment.

  14. Pamela Brown says:

    I was rushed to baylor univwrsaty in Houston tx october1st stayed in the hospital for close to 3 months cane home dec15th. A random man came over jyst you tell me that my house has black molds said his bro n law died from it 2 yrs ago. My question is does molds have anything to do with brain bleeds?? That’s what i was in the hospital for

  15. Jim Finley says:

    Im a practicing physcian, I moved into an older apartment with mold contamination several years ago. I honestly do not remember several months of my life. I lost 40 lbs. I guess i forgot to eat. I was confused to acutely paranoid. I assume I was in a delerium. I must have known I was losing days because I left myself written notes but I have no memory of writing them. I was making making bizzare calls I have no memory of. Lost a job over this mess. Moved out and cleared in a few weeks. I never thought much of mold- it was never mentioned in medical school… but i definately keep it in the differential now.. Scary.

  16. Tina says:

    I’ve been living in a moldy home for years and have all the mold poisoning symptoms. Recently, I started having vertigo. I searched the internet and found Dr. Darren Schmidt on youtube. He had mold poisoning, also. And vertigo, but his was from a parasite. I can’t work and I have no healthcare. About the only thing that I can do for the mold spores in the air is to purchase a de-humidifier and keep it at 50% or lower humidity in the home. I hope this will help.

  17. Nick says:

    I contacted a bad infection of black mold in my chest. My doctor discovered it using an Eta-scan energy evaluation device. I am treating it homeopathically. It’s a 40-60 day treatment.
    I contacted it from my mom’s basement during visits and possibly from other environments like office space. My symptoms included fatigue, sneezing, coughing, sleeping issues, digestive issues, etc. My depression and anxiety have also been heightened during this time.
    I have been defusing essential oils of oregano and on guard by doterra in possible and known mold environments. Can peroxide sprayed in areas also be used to kill all types of mold toxins ?

  18. Anastasia says:

    I have mold fixity. I take activated charcoal and been done night every day and I feel so much better go to YouTube and see what they do similar to me Watch for sponge vinegar all over body and you will each just trying to be helpful

  19. Jeanne Phin says:

    I was exposed to toxic molds as a Federal Ranger due to a faulty A.C unit. I was exposed to stachybotris penicillium aspergillus. I suffered seizures,heart attack tachycardia heart surgery renal mass right kidney kidney removal, hair loss, autoimmune disease of intestines, vomiting random nose bleeds exhaustion, metallic taste, good allergies, sinusitis, static shocks, anxiety, depression, I lost my job due to mold poisoning. Doctor Lawson in Vienna VA did extensive tests I do have toxic mold poisoning and I’m finally being treated for my exposure. Took 2 years to get the correct diagnosis I told each doctor I saw the resultant the air,quality report. It stated no one should enter the building without a respirator and safety gear. I was exposed for months, and no one told me to throw,away my gear I drove it around in my car for a year and a half. I have had to hire 2 attorneys to recover damages. My supervisor at Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge berated me in a all hands meeting and told me black mold was,a media sensation! I came very close to dying from the exposure.

    • Julie says:

      I too lived in NP housing with mold and was told basically the same thing. I’m once again dealing with mold and possibly bacteria because my AC condensate line was hooked to my sewer line with no p trap thus sucking up whatever was in the line and spreading it throughout my apartment. I have been living in this for 5 years and only discovered it when my AC started leaking. My vanity got wet and landlords didn’t want it replaced but I refused to allow that. Of course mold was found between the wall and vanity and in behind the hot water tank in the AC closet. Initially I thought my odd head symptoms were either animal dander, food or mold but because I live on a lake and used to enjoy the fresh breezes. I’ve been to Doctors- ENT- even when I questioned if mold could be causing my daily goo and whacked out head symptoms I was told- there’s mold everywhere. I had an MRI and it showed something going on in my sinus and was told to get a script for a contrast scan but no doctor is willing to do that. I have felt at times that I was ready to check out from being so off in my head. After 3 rounds of antibiotics, I was told surgery is next in line. Well I don’t have insurance so that was not an option but I didn’t feel that was going to heal my issues. I know there is something still wrong with me. Next I am hiring an air quality testing company. I love my apartment but it’s slowly killing me in the 5 years I’ve lived here. Headaches, neck pain, swollen chin lymph nodes, brain fog, eye issues, and brain oddness- feeling drunk though I’m not drinking.

    • Caroline Vance says:

      Do you have any suggestions on how to rebuild your immune system?

  20. Chuck says:

    it’s all very simple. Stop the leaks. Kill the mold (Bleach). Paint. Caulk.

    • Michelle says:

      Chuck, Spraying bleach, caulking cracks and repainting will not remediate mold in drywall, or attics, or basements etc. I see you keep posting this over and over. Several people have responded to this misinformation. It is a disservice to people who have been harmed by mold exposure and whose homes and work spaces are moldy. Mold testing and remediation need to be done by reputable professionals such as mycologists and certified environmental remediators. The testing and remediation need to be done by separate companies so there is no conflict of interest. If anyone want to read some background information look at these two websites. http://www.moldtestingma.com (Deb Gordon’s website with excellent info) and http://www.moldremediationma.com (Chris McDonough’s website with info on proper area containment and filtering etc) I am not affiliated with either but have used their services. Hope others find this info helpful.

  21. Debbie says:

    We Have green mold in our shower. Is it as bad as black mold. I know that sometimes my brain feels “moldy” but I am older and I also have tinnitus screaming in my head 24/7/365. My brain just doesn’t work very well, and If I put these 2 things together, it all adds up, but I’m still not sure about that green mold. I say mold is mold. My husband insists that we don’t have any mold! I did spray bleach into the mold. When it was dry, I cleaned and we caulked it up and left it for a few days. There are no more leaks, but I wonder. . . . .

  22. Linda Buskell says:

    I have black mold in my house the roof leaks the basement leaks seen all the black mold in the basement I live in apartment downstairs I’m sick all the time headaches tired worn-out forgetting about stuff I’m down to a hundred pounds and I can’t find anybody to spec the house cuz it cost me money out of my pocket and I can’t afford it cuz I’m only on SSI can you find a place to live I mean we have enough energy to move I want to feel better I hate feeling like this I don’t even want to live sometimes the way I feel my name is Linda

  23. Laura E Buff says:

    I had a benign brain tumor removed in April. Now my employer is notifying us that there is a mold problem in our building. I have worked here for two years and we know my tumor grew from nothing to the size of a walnut in 2 years. (I had an MRI 4 months before I started for other reasons, it was 100% clear. Neurosurgeon referenced it during treatment of my tumor.)
    Is it possible that mold could cause this kind of thing?
    Testing was done in the office next door to mine, not mine specifically. Results of a surface wipe showed 365,760 spores/cm2 -Aspergillus/Penicillium 93% and Cladosporium 7%.
    I’m told that I don’t need to worry about exposure by my employer because it is a wipe from the crawl space (no swipe taken in office area) and it isn’t my office, so = no worries for me.
    Should I be concerned that my work environment contributed to my diagnosis?

  24. Joan Hilton says:

    I have a friend that has many of the symptoms described in the posts above. She is a hoarder and there is mold in her trailer due to roof leaks. She has been in the hospital for over a week. She is diabetic and is in dyalisis due to renal failure.The doctors can’t seem to figure out what is causing the problems she is having. I was wondering about mold. Her daughter says that the doctors say it isn’t mold that is the problem so I am started to do some invertigating on it myself and found that mold can cause a lot of the problems she is having. .I don’t know if the doctors did any testing for mold but I will try and find out if they have tested for mold.. All the tests she has had don’t show much. The MRI showed no stroke or brain bleed altho she shows all the classic signs of a stroke. We all know that doctors don’t know everything so I am looking into it for her. When the medical people can’t find anythins we have to be pro active in our own care. Thanks for all the information that you have given me.

  25. sabrina parker says:

    I am writing because I am about to lose it from being sick.I recently had a sewer line blockage backup in rental house and carpet was saturated as well as bathroom door and sink wood sucked up water.Land lord was even going to charge me for rotor rooter for root in line.They did not repair water damage.Since this happened on Thanksgiving I have gotten severely sick.I am have a high sensitivity to mold already.My symptoms are migraines,nausea,uncontrollable diarrhea,weight loss,severe chest pains,muscle aches,anxiety,fever everyday,and depression that leads to suicidal thoughts.Also swollen watery eyes,sinus drip,cough,fatigue,and uncontrollable crying.I am being evicted to top this all off because I would not pay till they repaired house.I am having to try to move everything by myself and keep battling myself because it is making me sicker and sicker all the time.Can anybody please tell me something to get this stuff out of me long enough to finish moving.Also maybe a long term treatment to get my life back.


    • Amen Clinics says:

      Hello Sabrina, thank you for reaching out. We would be happy to contact you with more information about mold/toxic exposure and the treatments available at Amen Clinics; we do have an integrative medicine program to address these types of symptoms and conditions. We look forward to speaking with you.

  26. David says:

    About 4 years ago, I owned a car that had mold on its upholstery and in its A/C vents. Due to financial issues, I was unable to get the mold removed. Instead, in efforts effort to remediate it, I sprayed the carpet with vinegar and scrubbed with paper towels. For about a month, I drove it to college, inhaling the mold, and spraying the interior air with vinegar, which seemed to worsen the condition, yielding a strong stench nearly daily. I experienced overly excessive sneezing when exposed to pollen, as well as worsening of my GAD that lead to several months of insomnia. I also experienced cognitive issues resembling ADHD symptoms, such as failing to read articles thoroughly and skipping around and skimming instead. I also usually forget to complete items on my to-do list regularly. To this day, unable to finish college, I experience these cognitive symptoms, although most of my allergenic symptoms have been alleviated with the help of supplements such as Vitamin C and probiotics.

    How would I request my primary care doctor an allergy test for mold? What specific tests would I need? How would I get a proper diagnosis? Do my cognitive symptoms express a need for a brain scan?



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