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Your Feline’s Fecal Matter Could Be Making You Crazy

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Ken comes in every week-day morning and complains about his feline.  It was loud, it kept him up, it puked, it goes on and on!  I immediately shared this story from Charles Walford at Mail Online with him, because THIS could be why he’s NUTS!

Parasites passed from cats could be causing schizophrenia in their owners, a scientist has claimed.  Jaroslav Flegr says has come to the conclusion because he himself believes he is a living example.

He says he has been infected by the parasite and it has altered his behaviour over a period of time.  The parasite, which is excreted by cats in their feces, is called Toxoplasma gondii and is the microbe that causes toxoplasmosis – the reason pregnant women are told to avoid cats’ litter boxes.

Since the 1920s, doctors have recognised that a woman who becomes infected during pregnancy can transmit the disease to the foetus, resulting in severe brain damage in the baby – or even death.  In adults the diesease causes flu-like symptoms – and those with a suppressed immune system can become seriously ill with complications such as encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) – but many carrying the latent disease and appear to have no symptoms.

However, once inside an animal or human host, the parasite then needs to get back into the cat, as that is the only place where it can sexually reproduce.  And this, Flegr believes, is why the infection is making subtle changes to the human brain to manipulate the host’s behavior – though he admits to being unsure how the parasite intends to use humans to this end.

Info via: Mail Online

 

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