Most cats are carriers of parasites Toxoplasma gondiiwho live in the brain and do not produce symptoms for most people infected, although they may be dangerous in acute toxoplasmosis cases.
Researchers at the University of Copenhagen Hospital found that the parasite is much more dangerous than expected because it increases the risk of schizophrenia by 50% by penetrating the human body, says the Science Warning.
About 80,000 volunteers participated in the large-scale study, of which 2,500 were mentally ill. According to the tests, some of them were in the body of Toxoplasma gondii.
Although the link between schizophrenia and parasite was already found in previous studies, the new study takes into account that human infection in the body appears before the physician diagnosed schizophrenia, so the relationship between mental illness and Toxoplasma gondii infection became even more apparent.
It is generally believed that healthy adults do not have the risk of developing Toxoplasma gondii infections, but children or people with a depressed immune system.
Pregnant women should also be careful because the parasite can cause fetal abnormalities or even miscarriage.
To reduce the effect of toxoplasmosis, the authors of the article recommend that food is always cooked at a safe temperature by washing the fruits and vegetables well, using gloves to work in the garden, and being very careful with cat manure.
The 2017 study showed that Toxoplasma gondii is caused by changes in neural connections, diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, epilepsy and several types of cancer.
Meanwhile, a study published in July 2018 ensured that Toxoplasma gondii could stimulate business attitudes. In addition, the 2016 study revealed that the parasite is capable of killing tumors in the ovary.
Go crazy! Scientists discover an unexpected cat threat