January 16, 2008
Toxoplasma Gondii Increases Schizophrenia Risk?

Are cats driving you crazy?

Findings from what is believed to be the largest comparison of blood samples collected from healthy individuals and people with schizophrenia suggest that infection with the common Toxoplasma gondii parasite, carried by cats and farm animals, may increase the risk of schizophrenia.

A report on the study, conducted among U.S. military personnel by researchers from Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and Johns Hopkins Children’s Center appears in the January issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

Researchers found that of the 180 study subjects diagnosed with schizophrenia, 7 percent had been infected with toxoplasma prior to their diagnosis, compared to 5 percent among the 532 healthy recruits. Thus, people exposed to toxoplasma had a 24 percent higher risk of developing schizophrenia. The difference, while seemingly small, is important, researchers say, because the ability to explain even a small portion of the 2 million cases of schizophrenia in the United States may offer clues to the disease and some possible treatments.

Recall that t. gondii infections are also suspected of causing personality changes. This explains the origins of Cat Woman.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2008 January 16 09:40 PM  Brain Disorders


Comments
kurt9 said at January 18, 2008 11:59 AM:

Bobby Fischer seems to have followed the "alley cat" pattern of personal development as he aged. He became more secluded, disheveled, and ranty and ravy. Perhaps he suffered from the effects of Toxoplasma Gondii infection.

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