Mechanisms Underlying Multiple Chemical Sensitivity: A Pilot and Feasibility Study

Young-Mi Go, Emory University, School of Medicine
National Human Ecology Action League (HEAL), Community Collaborator

Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS) is an environmentally triggered disability with symptoms that include headache, dizziness, muscle and joint pain, respiratory problems, gastric problems, extreme fatigue and unusual memory loss. Common MCS triggers include fragrances, pesticides, building materials, new carpets, cleaning products, and cigarette smoke.  In collaboration with a local community organization, HEAL, this project will develop a simple, low-burden approach to investigate environmental contributions to MCS in humans. Using silicone badges, investigators will develop and validate an untargeted screening assay for passive environmental sampling. To approach personalized exposomics measures for MCS, investigators will use xMWAS “R” script to integrate data collected on behavioral influences on environmental exposures (diet, personal behaviors, spatial/geographic location) with environmental and biomonitoring data. Research from this pilot could help lead to an understanding of the biological mechanisms underlying MCS and an evaluation of effective interventions.

Dr. Young-Mi Go is an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine at Emory’s School of Medicine. Her research focuses on identifying redox signaling and control mechanisms and metabolic responses associated with cardiovascular disease and environmental toxicants. HEAL is an Atlanta-based, non-profit organization that has served people with MCS since 1981.