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Toxoplasma gondii Parasite is a Concern

Updated on April 26, 2015

Be Aware and Be Alert!

Check latest research findings...
Check latest research findings... | Source

Be Aware - Be Alert!

Study Links T. gondii Parasite to Suicide Risk

It was thought Toxoplasma gondii – (T. gondii) infections are generally benign, with no symptoms or consequences. Research is changing this body of information. As noted in my book, “Eyes Wide Shut: An Enigma,” researchers are discovering a greater influence in infected humans. The Examiner ( http://www.examiner.com/article/bad-kitty-how-cats-may-affect-your-mental-health ) “In a study of over 45,000 Danish mothers, infected patients were one and a half times more likely to attempt suicide than those not infected.” The women were tracked for more than 10 years. This most recent study builds upon prior studies a growing consensus of a possible cause and effect.

Infected women were about 50 percent more likely to cut, burn or otherwise harm themselves, according to their medical records, and 80 percent more likely to attempt suicide. The higher their infection, the more the suicide attempts.

Dr. Robert Yolken, an infectious disease expert at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, states, “…although the study focused on women, there's no reason to believe the results would be any different in men.”

T. gondii is Linked to Rodent Suicides

There is already a suicide relationship between rodents and cats. The T. gondii parasite causes a rat to commit suicide when infected. The infected rat is attracted to cats and thereby completing the T. gondii life cycle when ingested. The parasite must live in a cat’s intestine to reproduce.

T. gondii has Been Linked to Schizophrenia and Bipolar

A team from the University of Leeds Faculty of Biological Sciences (UK) has shown that the T. gondii parasite may play a role in the development ofSchizophrenia and Bipolar disorders by affecting the production of dopamine – the chemical that relays messages in the brain controlling aspects of movement, cognition and behavior.

T. gondii Produces Dopamine

“In addition, the ability of the parasite to make dopamine implies a potential link with other neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s Disease, Tourette’s syndrome and attention deficit disorders,” says Dr. Glenn McConkey, lead researcher from the University of Leeds Faculty of Biological Sciences (UK).

T. gondii is Everywhere

T. gondii comes from cat feces and raw or undercooked meat. It is a common parasite. Most of the world’s warm-blooded animals and humans are infected. Whales, sea lions, and birds are included.

Most infected people are healthy. Those who are infected with the parasite T. gondii and are immune-suppressed – and particularly for pregnant women – there are significant health risks that can occasionally be fatal.

There is no Cure!

Treatments are available. Consult your doctor. It is possible to be re-infected with this parasite. Cats become more infectiousness each time they are infected. Healthy bodies develop a homeostasis where the T. gondii is latent - with no apparent side effects.


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    • dallas93444 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dallas W Thompson 

      6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      There is more recent studies indicating cats can and do become re-infected.... Notwithstanding their own immunity being compromised.. see below:

      In light of a startling discovery by Dubey and his research team. It was previously believed that once a cat had been infected with T. gondii and shed oocysts, that cat would not become re-infected and shed more oocysts.

      Dubey's team has found that's probably wishful thinking. They have shown that cats infected years earlier and that shed millions of oocysts then could be reinfected 6 years later and begin shedding oocysts again.

      That wasn't the only surprise. The same study showed that cats could have very high levels of antibodies against T. gondii in their blood years after a previous infection and still become reinfected. "So you can't use high levels of antibodies as an indicator of immunity,'" says Dubey.

    • profile image

      Arba Ager 

      6 years ago

      I do not think cats become more infectious each time they are infected but rather develop immunity. One of the best ways to protect your cats from geting infected is never let them outside of your house and don't feed them ram meat that could be infected.

    • dallas93444 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dallas W Thompson 

      6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      Thanks! Appreciated.

      We must be aware and alert!

    • profile image

      femmeflashpoint 

      6 years ago

      Dallas,

      Thanks for the additional comment information. I Pinned, FB'd and Twittered the article. No doubt other readers will find the information helpful as well.

      femme

    • dallas93444 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dallas W Thompson 

      6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      I agree. While the parasite is found throughout the world, more than 60 million people in the United States may be infected with the Toxoplasma parasite. Of those who are infected, very few have symptoms because a healthy person's immune system usually keeps the parasite from causing illness.

      What are the signs and symptoms of toxoplasmosis?

      Symptoms of the infection vary.

      •Most people who become infected with Toxoplasma gondii are not aware of it.

      •Some people who have toxoplasmosis may feel as if they have the "flu" with swollen lymph glands or muscle aches and pains that last for a month or more.

      •Severe toxoplasmosis, causing damage to the brain, eyes, or other organs, can develop from an acute Toxoplasma infection or one that had occurred earlier in life and is now reactivated. Severe cases are more likely in individuals who have weak immune systems, though occasionally, even persons with healthy immune systems may experience eye damage from toxoplasmosis.

      •Signs and symptoms of ocular toxoplasmosis can include reduced vision, blurred vision, pain (often with bright light), redness of the eye, and sometimes tearing. Ophthalmologists sometimes prescribe medicine to treat active disease. Whether or not medication is recommended depends on the size of the eye lesion, the location, and the characteristics of the lesion (acute active, versus chronic not progressing). An ophthalmologist will provide the best care for ocular toxoplasmosis.

      •Most infants who are infected while still in the womb have no symptoms at birth, but they may develop symptoms later in life. A small percentage of infected newborns have serious eye or brain damage at birth.

    • profile image

      femmeflashpoint 

      6 years ago

      Dallas,

      45,000 Danish mothers. That is staggering ...

      Since this is not a routine disease to test for, I'm wondering how many cases there actually are.

      femme

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