A parasite found in cat feces can cause serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar, a new study confirms
Schizophrenia is a severe, chronic brain disorder. People suffering from the disorder often hear loud noises in their head. Common symptoms of schizophrenia are hallucination, delusions and lack of concentration.
On the flip side, cats are the most popular pets of the world. As per the latest figures of American Veterinary Medical Association, 37 million household keep cats as pet.
Recently, health experts at the Stanley Medical Research Institute (SMRI) performed a broad study on cats. They carefully reviewed two highly cited studies related to cats and schizophrenia. In one of the studies, research team analyzed military medical record to determine the cause of schizophrenia in soldiers. They observed that most of the soldiers diagnosed with the disorder are fond of cat.
The outcome of the research review shows that cats are usually infected with a parasite that increase chances of mental disorders in humans. The parasite, known as Toxoplasma gondii, entirely transforms the neurotramitter function and behavior of cats.
Dr. Robert H Yolken, lead author of the study, explains the end result of the study. He states that exposure to cats in childhood dramatically ascends the risk of schizophrenia in children.
The study is printed in the latest edition of Journal Schizophrenia Bulletin.