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.
The increase in life expectancy seen in many countries has been accompanied by an increase in the number of people living with dementia and a growing need for health care. The large number of affected individuals emphasizes the need to identify causes for the phenotypes associated with diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Huntington’s, and those caused by prions. This review addresses the hypothesis that changes in lipid rafts induced by alterations in their ganglioside and/or cholesterol content or the interaction of mutant proteins with them provide the keys to understanding the onset of neurodegeneration that can lead to dementia. The biological function(s) of raft-associated gangliosides and cholesterol are discussed prior to reviewing what is known about their roles in lipid rafts in the aforementioned diseases. It concludes with some questions that need to be addressed in order to provide investigators with the basis for identifying small molecule agonists or antagonists to test as potential therapeutics.
About the Author
Emily Rachal is co-owner of Texas Mold Inspectors, (or TMI), along with her husband, in the Houston, TX area. After her family’s devastating experience that not only injured her whole family, but also resulted in the loss of their youngest son Malachi, she and her husband have dedicated their lives to now educating and assisting families affected by toxic mold with their state-licensed mold inspection company.
Emily is the founder and owner of MAM. Additionally, she has recently started a non-profit organization in the name of her youngest son, called Malachi’s Message Foundation, to aid in financial support and offer hope to families who feel isolated and are unable to afford all the complex obstacles of overcoming a toxic mold exposure.