ACH Blog

The Impact of Damp Climates on Health

Isobel Cosgrove - Monday, November 18, 2013

Chinese Medicine has acupuncture and herbal treatments which specifically aim to remove damp, stickiness and phlegm from our systems. Living in a damp cool climate means that we have to take care to keep ourselves warm enough and to protect from 'invasions of damp'. These can lead to arthritic joints, bronchial asthma, digestive disturbances and other symptoms.

A recent article from the Times highlights the potential impact on health of damp environments.

"Exposure to a fungus found in damp buildings could increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease, according to scientists.

The study showed that when fruit flies were exposed to a compound often emitted by fungi they developed the symptoms of Parkinson’s.

Arati Inamdar, a biologist at Rutgers University, in New Jersey, said: “Parkinson’s has been linked to exposure to environmental toxins but the toxins were man-made chemicals.” The latest research shows that naturally occurring compounds also can cause Parkinson's symptoms.

Parkinson's, which affects about 127,000 people in Britain, is cause by a deficiency of dopamine in the brain because specific nerve cells have died.

The study began after the home of Dr Inamdar's co-author, Joan Bennett, developed mould after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. She started suffering headaches, dizziness and nausea after collecting mildew samples.

The study used fruit flies to establish the connection between the compound, 1-octen-3-ol, known as mushroom alcohol, and the degeneration of two genes involved in transport of dopamine. Mushroom alcohol evaporates from funghi. Applying it to fruit flies revealed it disrupts the packaging of the dopamine and its transport, which degenerates neurons and causes Parkinson's-like symptoms."

Original source (paywall): http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/science/article3919647.ece

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