Cats Can Cause Schizophrenia

Cats Can Cause Schizophrenia

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  • Cat parasite T. Gondii associated to be a cause of Schizophrenia

Research claims that people diagnosed with schizophrenia were cat owners in childhood and hold cat parasite T. Gondii to be responsible to create affinity for physical and mental illnesses and disorders

Schizophrenia has been a major concern over the years for its occurrence in a large population worldwide. It has a long list of causes and symptoms but till yet there has been no major breakthrough in curing the disorder. The only line of defense is of-course prevention and for that the causes have to be known.

Another cause has been added to the list and it’s not great news for cat lovers. It has been revealed by research that cats have a parasite called Toxoplasma gondii, also known as T. Gondii and Toxo can be the cause of toxoplasmosis, a condition giving rise to flu-like symptoms, blindness, miscarriage and abnormal fetal development. It is also the cause of mental disorders like schizophrenia, OCD, bipolar disorders and other disorders as well. 

The parasite can infect any warm blooded species during the initial occurrence in cats. Researches have showed that infection in mice causes their feline fear to disappear. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates more than 60 million people in the U.S. /4/have it and while many are not affected, people with weaker immune systems will fall to any of the afore mentioned diseases. 

The most significant study has to be by E. Fuller Torrey of the Stanley Medical Research Institute and Dr. Robert H. Yolken of Stanley Laboratory of Developmental Neurovirology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine who have been studying the link between infection with T. gondii and schizophrenia for close to three decades.

Their most recent study, published in Schizophrenia Research, along with researcher Wendy Simmons, compared two previous studies that found a link between childhood cat ownership and the development of schizophrenia later in life 

People owning cats are not the only ones in threat. US is infested with a big number of stray and wild cats as well. They and pet cats can be spreading the parasite through soil, water and contaminated food. The pets pose more threat with the contact.

So what should cat owners do? It’s precaution for them once more. Instead of throwing away your cat, keep it inside. Throw away the litter box regularly and don’t let it play in dirty areas. Although cats are known to be very sanitary animals still, you can never be cleaner. Make sure the cat is clean and not flea infested when your child touches the cat.

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