The newest and perhaps the biggest study conducted yet on the effects of Toxoplasma Gondii or T-Gondii confirms links between the parasitic infection and psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia.
This is big news for the estimated 2 billion people who are infected with the parasite, including over 1/3rd of the United States.
Scientists from Copenhagen University analyzed data from more than 80,000 individuals in a Danish Blood Donor Study. The results showed that patients infected with T-Gondii were almost 50% more likely to have been diagnosed with schizophrenia.
The T. Gondii parasite, as we’ve reported for over a year now, is typically harmless, and spread by cat feces which contain a variant of the parasite. The parasite is then contracted by handling kitty litter or eating uncooked meat, unwashed vegetables, etc.
The mystery lies in what happened after a person is infected. Of course, we have our own theories about the MADNESS that may ensue. ;^)
Previous studies have linked the parasite to mood disorders and behavioral changes, including rage disorder (leading to MADNESS), intermittent explosive disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, & even suicide. Other studies have concluded that those infected were more prone to riskier behavior or taking chances. This most recent study adds more provable links between adverse human behavior and the parasite.
And although researchers still aren’t claiming to have definitive proof of causation, they do state that this study supports, “the growing scientific evidence linking pathogenic infection with serious psychiatric disorders.”
To minimize your exposure to toxoplasmosis, it is recommended that you always cook food to safe temperatures, wash fruit and vegetables thoroughly, wear gloves while gardening, be careful handling kitty litter, and stay away from any person or animal with red eyes (okay the last part we made up).