Monday, March 19, 2012

Toxoplasma Gondii: How your cat could be making you ‘crazy’

It’s long been known that a microbe found in cat's can harm people with weakened immune systems, such as people with AIDS.

It’s also been known that pregnant women should avoid cat litter so they don’t catch the microbe, lest they pass it on to their babies, causing brain damage in the infants or even death.

The microbe in question is Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii or Toxo for short).

New research from an unconventional scientist is showing that in certain circumstances, the microbe can alter our basic personalities, making us more or less outgoing, trusting and fearful, and even making us more prone to schizophrenia, car crashes and suicides.

The circumstances that create this possibility are as follows;
  • We have to be infected by the microbe
  • Our bodies will eventually overcome it, 
  • But the parasite can lay dormant,
  • and the danger lies in whether it lodges or travels to our brain cells
The researcher, the Czech evolutionary biologist Jaroslav Flegr, claims that when you consider all its impacts, “Toxoplasma might even kill as many people as malaria, or at least a million people a year.”

Read more of this article here: How your cat could be making you ‘crazy’

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