Can a cat parasite cause psychological illness?

It had been a hot topic for some time that there was a link between a parasite found in cats and those who owned cats as children and developed mental illness as adults. A new study sheds light on the reasons for this situation.

A ubiquitous parasite estimated to infect millions worldwide, it is associated with schizophrenia and a host of other neurological disorders. associated; however, no clear evidence of this has been presented. Also known as a “mind-altering” parasite Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) Although there are numerous studies claiming that this parasite, named parasite, is linked to strange patterns of behavioral change or human activity, there is also data that refute this relationship.

Now, a new study led by Vincent Paquin, a psychiatrist at McGill University in Canada, appears to have new findings that could help explain this paradox. According to this research which has the potential to find a way to identify what might be behind the apparent dangers of T. gondii mental disorders in cat owners examines the relationship between

Cats alone are not enough for the parasite to infect humans

A 1995 study suggested that T. gondii could be transmitted to humans through exposure to the feces of an infected domestic cat, in addition to contaminated food or water; accordingly, having a cat in childhood develop a mental illness in adulthood He pretended to be connected. However, subsequent studies have not provided a clear answer as to the relationship between cat ownership and T. gondii. The aforementioned new research seems to have brought a new perspective to this situation.

In new research papers, “Domestic cats are often infected with the parasite by feeding on rodents and are not contagious until the following days or weeks.” Paquin and co-authors, “So the cat if it is known to prey on rodents may provide a better indicator of possible exposure to T. gondii than owning a cat alone.” uses expressions.

In other words, they are cats only means it does not expose humans to the parasite. However, cats that hunt rodents, such as cats that are not just kept indoors and allowed out, are more likely to come into contact with T. gondii outdoors. high school looks like it might.

Research shows once again the importance of not interrupting the checkups of our dear friends.


In theory, this means cats can transmit the infection to individuals in childhood and adulthood. develop psychological problems This means it can cause. To examine this hypothesis, the researchers surveyed nearly 2,200 participants in Montreal, asking them questions about owning a cat during childhood and measuring the frequency of their psychotic experiences. Additionally, the researchers asked respondents a number of other questions in the survey, such as how often they were carried around as children, if they had suffered a head injury, and if they smoked. .

By analyzing the participants’ responses, the team discovered that they had a rodent-hunting cat as a child. male participants observed a greater risk of having psychotic experiences in adulthood; but strangely, the same relationship, among the participants not observed.

However, it was found that there was no such link among participants who had never had a cat as children and had only one cat at home. On the other hand, we mentioned above; other factors examined in the questionnaire (smoking, head trauma, etc.), beyond parasitic infection, risk of psychotic experience of participants. affected by was clearly evident.


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In addition to all this, the research has some issues such as reporting of all survey results by the participants themselves. boundaries exist ; however, this does not change the fact that their findings show how important it is for further research in the future that may help us identify more precisely the interactions associated with exposure to T. gondii.

Finally, research has shown that the health care benefits of our hairball friends not be interrupted He also underlines how important it is. As you know, owning a cat is recommended to patients by many experts as an auxiliary element in the treatment of psychological disorders. In other words, not to disturb the veterinary checks of our dear friends and prevent them from taking place. the healthiest to make sure they are in our health also of great importance.

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