Dr. Larry Empting, Chief Medical Officer for CitriSafe
I have been involved with CitriSafe for 15 years or so. At this time, however, I am proudly accepting their offer to me to become their Chief Medical Officer, CMO. As the CitriSafe CMO, I wanted to lay out my background, planned involvement and future activities with and for the company and how all that in turn can improve the health and lives of CitriSafe customers.
Particularly with Neurology and Neuropsychiatry, much of the “picture” is related in detailed “histories” taken from the patients and put into a narrative. I hope you, the reader here, will allow me to lay out an introductory narrative of my evolution in the mold/mycotoxin field and eventual Chief Medical Officer of CitriSafe.
BACKGROUND AND TRAINING NARRATIVE
Growing up in Northwest Minnesota as the son of farmers and railroaders, pragmatic adaptable and integrative work and problem solving was “life”. Practical analog living was then expanded by the many branches of science.
My undergraduate training was at a small liberal arts college on the prairie, Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. Concordia encouraged a wide range of studies and integration of specialties into academic studies. So, as a “diversity encouraged nerd”, I ended up with majors in Biology and Psychology and minors in Chemistry and Speech/Communication. These were the years that began my fostering of cross speciality integration, which as we will see, eventuated in my interest in medicine, the mind, molds, toxins and “practical solutions” that epitomizes CitriSafe.
I then was hired on at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine, Neuroscience/Psychiatry Department in Fargo, North Dakota (yes as in the movie “Fargo”), as Research Assistant to the Chairman of Psychiatry. In the studies of Aging and Dementia (SOAAD) we studied Alzheimer’s disease from clinical to brain neuropathology. Again, this became an integrated project and, as it turns out, invaluable in looking at delirium and dementia in mold/mycotoxin exposure cases within the CitriSafe group. SOAAD got me interested in the medical field.
I did my medical training at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine in Minnesota (the “warmer” part of Minnesota). Then it was back to the University of North Dakota, Department of Psychiatry for a year’s Internship. This allowed me the further integration of the brain science into general multiple medical specialties on the various rotations an intern traverses before going on to Residency Specialization.
I then did two Residency trainings, Psychiatry and Neurology, at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. Johns Hopkins has a particular style of integrating medical specialties and research domains. Hopkins encouraged me to integrate my Neuropsychiatric interest and invited me to join the fulltime JHH Neurology Faculty. I saw and taught general Neurology, but was also seeing cases where brain neurologic and psychiatric elements mixed. I was also the Coordinating Medical Director of the JHH Pain Treatment Center where physical pain intertwined with psychiatric emotional elements.
Many “unknown diagnosis” patients were sent to Johns Hopkins because of expertise in integrated neuroscience research. I can now say, in retrospect, some of those patients had to be mold/mycotoxin cases – which, then, neither I, nor my academic colleagues recognized. Standard “classical” medicine education studies molds generally only as opportunistic local infections (e.g. cryptococcal meningitis, etc.).
After 3 years on the Hopkins Neurology Faculty I moved to the southeast, Nashville, then Atlanta working as the CMO with a multi city pain clinic company. And as dual training in Psychiatry and Neurology was rare, I still was sent cases of “Is this Psych or is this Neuro, or a combination of both” cases.
When I first came to Atlanta my clinic was in the building next door to a Johns Hopkins trained ENT, Dr. Don Dennis, a brilliant clinician who treated mold/mycotoxin exposed patients. Indeed he had a leading role in delineating chronic mold sinusitis and systemic fungal syndrome that from the sinuses affected multiple other organ syndromes. Dr. Dennis’ patients had Neurologic and Neuropsychiatric signs and symptoms which I was able to help manage. However, when Dr. Dennis treated their mold sinusitis and directed them in how to clean their environment (water intrusion, mold growth, etc.), these Neurologic and Neuropsychiatric and pain signs and symptoms improved.
For me, this was a huge “eye opening” and interesting Neuropsychiatric area.
This interesting mold/mycotoxin disorder led me to the Environmental and Toxin/Mold related seminars and specialists, who were kind and informative about their decades in the field. Eventually I gave some talks on the Neurologic and Neuropsychiatric aspects of mold/mycotoxin exposure. My article in Toxicology (see link on this website) followed.
This process also then, via our local Compounding Pharmacist, (Pavilion Compounding Pharmacy) Mel Wilkinson, R. Ph, led me to meet Walter Hayhurst, R.Ph and CitriSafe.
Walter, as a leading national compounding pharmacist and mold/mycotoxin patient, was able to methodically put together (and continually refines) supplement products and environmental treatment products that help patients turn their clinical picture around. Every year Walter/CitriSafe, along with ImmunoLytics expand their products and services.
One of the challenges, that I hope to help with for CitriSafe, is the process of integrating the various component parts of diagnosis and treatment of mold/mycotoxin disorders. Because of the complexities of mold/mycotoxin effects on the human body, we must look to combining components of “Classical” medicine, “Functional” medicine, “Integrative” medicine and “Environmental” medicine. Treating this is a “Team Sport” and requires each person/patient affected (and their family) to be central and knowledgeable.
I hope, with regular additions to this webpage I can lay out other “Common Sense” narratives looking at the many facets of mold/mycotoxin issues of interest to you all.
L.D. Empting, M.D.