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Cats can cause schizophrenia

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posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 09:26 AM

Cats can cause schizophrenia

THURSDAY, Jan. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Infection with the common Toxoplasma gondii parasite -- carried by cats and farm animals -- may increase a person's risk of schizophrenia, a U.S. study suggests.

Publishing in the January issue of The American Journal of Psychiatry, researchers from the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and Johns Hopkins Children's Center found that 7 percent of the 180 schizophrenia patients in the study had been infected with toxoplasma before their diagnosis, comp
(visit the link for the full news article)

posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 09:26 AM
My local television station had previews of this because they were going to run a segment on it tonight, so I decided to do a bit of research.

It would explain a lot. The preview for the show went on to say that children under the age of 10 have the highest risk of becoming infected with Toxoplasma gondii which carries a high risk of making you get schizophrenia.

I'll post the link from my local tv station once they link it.
(visit the link for the full news article)

[edit on 31-1-2008 by Agent Styx]

posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 09:32 AM

Originally posted by Agent Styx
Cats have only really been domesticated for abotu 300 years, unlike dogs, where we havent had as much time to build up immunities to them.

That's not true. Cat's have been around for as long as civilization has.

Cats' Family Tree Rooted In Fertile Crescent, Study Confirms

Earlier archaeological evidence and research on the evolutionary history of cats has suggested that domestication of the cat originated about 5,000 to 8,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent, a region located today in the Middle East. This is the area around the eastern end of the Mediterranean, stretching from Turkey to northern Africa and eastward to modern day Iraq and Iran. This domestication of the cat occurred as humans transitioned from nomadic herding to raising crops and livestock

I don't have much issue with the article you posted, though. If you want to rationalise it, a better way would be to use the local crazy cat lady as an example

posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 09:41 AM
What are you saying ?

Are you saying children under the age of 10 have the highest risk of becoming infected with schizophrenia ?


Maybe you need to clarify a few point's hmm?


posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 09:44 AM
I clarified my post >.>

posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 10:00 AM
The ancient Egyptians domesticated cats at least about 10,000 years ago; I think that's long enough for us to build up immunities to them.
I do have a hard time believing that this toxiplasmosis thing creates schizophrenia. I will do some more research and report back if I find anything.

posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 10:14 AM
reply to post by Agent Styx

[off topic]

Wow, how did you do that?! Usually when one edits the post, a little tag saying [Edit on DD/MM/YYYY] appears.

[on topic]

h3akalee, I think what he means is that children under the age of 10 have a higher risk of catching the bug that may eventually trigger schizophrenia.

From the article:

Most toxoplasma infections occur early in life through exposure to cat feces or undercooked beef or pork. Infections rarely cause symptoms, but the parasite remains in the body and can become active after being dormant for many years, according to background information in a news release about the study.

Most people infected with toxoplasma never develop schizophrenia, but the parasite may trigger the mental illness in people who are genetically predisposed to it, explained Yolken.

Edit: disregard the off topic post. There was a glitch in the matrix.

[edit on 31-1-2008 by Beachcoma]

posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 10:17 AM
I've had cats all my life, and do something else which apparently increases the risk of schizophrenia (you know what I mean) yet there is still no sign of the mental illness I was promised......

Dogs, on the other hand, are filthy animals. Their feces contain germs that can make kids go blind, or worse. They're dirty animals, my former house mates dog used to roll around in dead animal carcasses and think it was fun. I cannot stand the creatures.

I also have a hard time believing a bug can cause schizophrenia. I'm going to do some reading now...

The causative agent of toxoplasmosis, the disease, is usually minor and self-limiting but can have serious or even fatal effects on a fetus whose mother first contracts the disease during pregnancy or on an immunocompromised human or cat.

But it goes on to say this...

T. gondii infections have the ability to change the behavior of rats and mice, making them drawn to rather than fearful of the scent of cats. This effect is advantageous to the parasite, which will be able to sexually reproduce if its host is eaten by a cat. [3] The infection is almost surgical in its precision, as it does not impact a rat's other fears such as the fear of open spaces or of unfamiliar smelling food. There has been speculation that human behavior may also be affected in some ways, and correlations have been found between latent Toxoplasma infections and various characteristics such as decreased novelty-seeking behavior, slower reactions, feelings of insecurity, and neuroticism. [4].

Several independent pieces of evidence point towards a possible role of Toxoplasma infection in some cases of schizophrenia and paranoia, but this theory does not seem to account for many cases.[5] A recent study has indicated toxoplasmosis is also correlated strongly with an increase in boy births in humans, leading to an alteration of the human sex proportion.[6] According to the researchers, "depending on the antibody concentration, the probability of the birth of a boy can increase up to a value of 0.72 ... which means that for every 260 boys born, 100 girls are born." The study also notes a mean rate of 0.60 to 0.65 (as opposed to the normal 0.51) for Toxoplasma positive mothers.

Other possible behavior modifications are suggested by a study suggesting that people not infected with the parasite found women with toxoplasma more attractive than women who don't have toxoplasma. [7]

The prevalence of human infection by Toxoplasma varies greatly between countries. Factors that influence infection rates include diet (prevalence is possibly higher where there is a preference for less-cooked meat) and proximity to cats.

So, apparently, according to some research, it might alter the gender proportion's in a human population that it is present in. An interesting concept.....

posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 10:42 AM
cats can cause schizophrenia this sounds as ridiculous as it is..
are we aiming to put a barrier between nature and ourselves ?

Schizophrenia causes:
*prenatal (early neurodevelopment, during pregnance)
*social (poverty, discrimination and so on)
*drug use
*cognitive bias
*brain structure

One curious finding is that people diagnosed with schizophrenia are more likely to have been born in winter or spring, (at least in the northern hemisphere).

we should spend less time watching tv and playing with our computers, cause these things don't allow us to relax..
on the other hand having a pet would help children to combat depression, lowers blood pressure and prevents heart disease

Children can form strong bonds with their pets and for many youngsters losing a pet may be their first experience of the death of something close to them.

posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 10:54 AM
I'd like to know where agent Styx would have this now deleted information about cat's only being domesticated for 300 years...!!??

I haven't read the OPlink or done any research, but this whole study seems to me to be dubious.

Stumason, you didn't put any links for your very interesting --and very weird-- quotes.

So, if somebody pestered all of US with cats, cannon fodder for generations to come would be secured. Or men are attracted to their own doom.

Endless posibilities for a Bio-weapon in this parasite.

I don't know if this is crab-science or what. Can't wait till tomorrow to see what your research bring.

posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 11:15 AM
Sorry, I just went to the wiki page for Toxoplasma gondii.

posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 02:40 PM
reply to post by stumason

Cats carry just as many parasites as a dog can. My son once contracted a parasite called Giardia and the doctor said it is often contracted from cats or from being around cat feces.

posted on Feb, 3 2008 @ 12:11 PM
I'll take my chances... 3/5 of my children are cats.

The other 2/5 are those disgusting creatures that will roll in anything stinky for fun.

I cannot imagine my life without my three cats and two dogs. I think I would go crazy without them.

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