Unfortunately there are few doctors equipped to diagnose and treat environmentally-caused cognitive disorders. If you suspect that you are suffering from environmental contamination from mold, solvents, metals, pesticides and other toxic substances, and you have cognitive or mood symptoms, it is critical to seek out a qualified mental health specialist experienced in toxicology for diagnosis and treatment. Unfortunately, these specialists are few and far between.
A leading expert on the effects of household and environmental toxic substances on brain function, Raymond Singer, Ph.D., reports that neurotoxicity from childhood lead poisoning likely played a role in Freddie Gray’s police custody death in Baltimore. Dr. Singer, a board-certified neuropsychologist, reports that damage to the nervous system from toxic substances can be a factor in practically any mental health problem, including depression, anxiety, panic disorders, psychosis, personality changes and violent behavior. In addition, neurotoxicity can result in memory disorder, cognitive decline, sensory and perceptual distortions, as well as many other mental conditions. Dr. Singer states that the reason why neurotoxic substances can cause a wide variety of mental health illnesses is because the substances can attack all brain tissue located in any area of the brain once they are in the bloodstream, and that the effects are cumulative. Since any area of the brain can be affected, practically any neuropsychological illness can result.
Freddie Gray reportedly suffered from lead poisoning from peeling lead paint where he grew up in Baltimore. Children with his reported level of lead poisoning may never recover without proper treatment, and because of neurotoxicity, suffer their entire lives with impaired thought processes, difficulty with social relations, attention deficit disorder, and in some cases, a tendency to be victimized or to commit violence.
When confronted by Baltimore police officers for a minor offense, Freddie Gray responded in a disorderly way because of neurotoxically-induced mental illness, leading to an escalation of a difficult situation and the application of deadly force to subdue him. According to Baltimore’s chief prosecutor, Marilyn Mosby, six police officers have been charged in the death of Freddie Gray. This is an example of a tragedy where avoidable neurotoxicity and inadequate treatment appears to have played a significant role.
In addition to causing someone to be a victim of a crime, neurotoxicity can cause someone to commit a crime.
Mold is another neurotoxic substance that is widespread in contaminated indoor environments. Chronic mold poisoning can result brain damage and very disordered behavior. Dr. Singer reports that he has served as an expert witness in a criminal case of a mass homicide by a person who had chronic exposure to high levels of indoor mold and other toxic substances, with subsequent brain damage, and who went on a violent rampage, tragically killing multiple people, including a law enforcement officer. During the course of his investigation, Dr. Singer found that the defendant’s living environment was heavily contaminated with mycotoxins – toxic substances produced by indoor molds that attack the brain – some of which were found to be related to hallucinogens, such as LSD. This unfortunate situation, compounded by lack of access to competent mental health care by doctors experienced in neurotoxicity, culminated in tragedy for numerous families.
In addition to treating lead and other metal poisoning, The National Treatment Center for Environmental Disease (NTCED) specializes in treating mold related illnesses. The Center is staffed by multidisciplinary practitioners, and is one of the nation’s most qualified facility for medical treatment for environmental exposures, including mold exposure and mycotoxin poisoning. Dr. Raymond Singer is affiliated with NTCED.
Neuropsychological testing is the gold standard for determining brain deficits from mold, lead, and other neurotoxic substances. Dr. Raymond Singer recommends that anyone with significant neurotoxic substance exposure find a qualified neuropsychologist experienced in neurotoxicity for a diagnosis. Unfortunately, many neuropsychologists and medical doctors are not trained in nor experienced in neurotoxicology, and therefore may miss the correct diagnosis, resulting in many years of needless patient suffering, as well as possible future criminal acts – which could be avoidable with proper diagnosis. Consumers need to be sure that the doctors they employ for help with this condition have enough experience to reach a correct diagnosis and treatment plan.