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Toxoplasma gondii: People Are Being Controlled by Tiny Parasites in Their Brains!

Updated on September 30, 2015
Au fait profile image

C. E. Clark believes it is her duty and responsibility as a researcher and writer to bring important information to her readers .

Tiny Banana Shaped Parasites That Can Control Your Brain

These tiny parasites can live in your muscles, nerve and brain cells inside protective cysts all of your life.
These tiny parasites can live in your muscles, nerve and brain cells inside protective cysts all of your life. | Source

Maybe YOU Are Being Controlled by Parasites and You Do Not Even Know It!

Perhaps one of the scariest things this tiny parasite called toxoplasma gondii is believed to do is control its host once it gets into the host’s brain. Yes, it can control your mood, your personality, raise your risk of disease, and even manipulate your behavior – and you won’t even realize it. Sounds a little like science fiction, yes?

Other things this virus is suspected of doing according to Susan Milius, writing for Science News, is “raising the risk of suicide attempts, brain cancer, and schizophrenia. [Some] studies in people even report links between T. gondii and traffic accidents – infected people are 6 times more likely to be in a car accident, and infected people have greater odds of having sons than daughters, [and for being taller than average].”

“T. gondii ranks fourth among causes of hospitalization from food borne illness and second among causes of food poisoning deaths in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” (ScienceNews.org).

Special Warning for Pregnant Women

Pregnant women need to be especially vigilante about avoiding this parasite because it frequently causes miscarriage and/or mental and/or physical deformities in developing fetuses.

The information on how this parasite affects fetuses is not new and I was aware of it even as a child – a long time ago. However what is new is the discovery scientists have made on how the parasite manipulates and controls its host’s behavior.

Pregnant women should let someone else clean the cat box from the moment they suspect they may be pregnant. They should also wear gloves when coming into contact with soil, and carefully remove those gloves when they have finished gardening. Ideally gardening where handling soil or being around blowing soil is involved as this parasite can be inhaled though the dust in the air. In short, avoid anything that might contain cat feces.

Nearly a Third of the World’s Population Is Infected With Toxoplasma Gondii

Almost 25% of people over the age of 12 in the United States are infected with toxoplasma gondii. That is one in every four people infected. The rate of infection in other parts of the world may be as high as 95%! Worldwide, on average about a third of the population is infected.

What is toxoplasma gondii, and what does it do to you? Toxoplasma gondii is a parasitic sporozoan that looks like a microscopic banana shaped worm.

Some people get very sick from this parasite, starting with flu-like symptoms such as sore throat and achy muscles, while most people are blissfully unaware the creature has invaded their brains and muscles.

Once infected with toxoplasma gondii, a person has the infection for life.

How Do You Get the Toxoplasma Gondii Parasite?

There are at least two ways a person can contract toxoplasma gondii. Getting the eggs of the parasite that is in the excrement of cats on ones hands and without realizing it, passing that parasite into ones mouth (see my hub titled: Washing Your Hands Is Your First Defense Against Illness), and/or eating undercooked meat.

It is highly recommended that a person wear disposable gloves when changing/cleaning litter boxes and then wash hands well with soap and water immediately when finished, after removing and disposing of the gloves.

Even though protective measures are recommended for changing cat’s litter boxes, most researchers believe undercooked meat is a bigger threat. It is possible to contract the parasites either way, but the important thing is that once a person is infected that person could experience one or more of the negative results (personality changes, brain cancer, etc.) listed in this article previously.

What Are the Symptoms of Toxoplasma Gondii, and How Is It Diagnosed?

Often there are no symptoms at all. If a person has symptoms they usually seem like one has the flu or a bad cold or mononucleosis.

Sore throat

Headache

Fever

Muscle pain

Enlarged lymph nodes in the head and neck


In severe cases, in addition to the symptoms listed above, a person might experience the following:

Blurred vision

Confusion

Seizures

Diagnostic Exams and Tests

After a thorough physical exam, one or more of the following tests may be ordered:

Antibody titers for toxoplasmosis

Cranial CT scan

MRI of the head

Brain biopsy

Slit lamp exam


How and Why Parasites Use Their Mind Controlling Capabilities

There are a myriad of different parasites that use a variety of different methods to control the minds of their hosts for their own purposes – there own purposes usually being related to reproduction. While many parasites cannot reproduce in the host they find themselves in, they can and do manipulate their hosts into doing things that will get themselves closer to, or inside of their ideal reproductive host or condition.

The toxoplasma gondii, for example, can only complete their reproductive cycle in the guts of cats and so they manipulate their hosts into getting them into a position where they will be able to get into a cat’s stomach.

Toxoplasma gondii parasites will find their way into the brain of a rat and manipulate that rat to where it will actually be sexually attracted to the smell of cat urine and the rat will then lose its fear of cats. With this strategy the parasite makes the rat an easier target for cats to kill and eat because the rat will be drawn to places that cats frequent and it will not try to avoid cats. When the cat eats the rat, the parasite will be taken into the cat’s stomach where it can complete its reproductive cycle.

Parasites can be pretty conniving it seems. They not only figure out what they have to do to accomplish their purpose – reproduction – but then they carry out their plan by creating enzymes to manipulate the brains of their hosts. They often alter their host’s brains to where their host will engage in high-risk behavior that will get the host killed, but it will also get the parasite closer to its objective.

Researchers think the toxoplasma gondii parasite may be somewhat confused when it comes to humans since very few humans get eaten by cats under any circumstances. A few people are eaten by the big cats in Africa from time to time, but generally humans are not preyed upon by cats. As a result, the condition this parasite creates in human brains does not make sense since they will not bring the parasite any closer to a cat’s gut.

“Viruses, fungi, protozoans, wasps, tapeworms and a vast number of other parasites can control the brains of their hosts and get them to do their bidding. But only recently have scientists started to work out the sophisticated biochemistry that the parasites use,” (Carl Zimmer for the New York Times).

Humans infected with Toxoplasmosis have slower reaction times and are more than twice as likely to be involved in car accidents. Infected women are more likely

Other Affects: Toxoplasmosis Can Increase the Risk of Suicide and Mental Disorders In Infected People

References:

http://www.livescience.com/25309-t-gondii-hijacks-immune-cells.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/11/science/parasites-use-sophisticated-biochemistry-to-take-over-their-hosts.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/extreme-fear/201103/is-your-mind-controlled-parasites-0

http://www.sciencenews.org/view/feature/id/347461/description/Little_Mind_Benders

http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/toxoplasmosis/gen_info/faqs.html

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    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 11 days ago from North Texas

      Shyron, thank you for stopping by and commenting. I'm not sure this affliction causes homicide so much as it causes suicide, because remember, the purpose of the host dying is so that the parasites can find their way into a cat's gut and reproduce. Although, if it causes schizophrenia, I guess some people with that affliction are homicidal . . .

      I truly hope life is becoming more bearable for you all. Blessings dear friend . . . take care.

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 3 weeks ago from North Texas

      Nadine May, thank you for taking time to learn about this weird parasite. I have known about it since I was a young child. My mother told me it was important for pregnant women to avoid cat feces to avoid birth defects in her baby, etc. Of course she didn't know about how the parasite effects people generally, subconsciously encouraging suicide, etc., but she did know the dangers it poses to the unborn.

      I hope this article will help people avoid this most unfortunate condition. Here is another article by Moonlake on this subject that is about the reality of living with this condition: https://hubpages.com/health/Toxoplasmosises

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 4 weeks ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      What a scary topic. Never heard about this creepy parasite. I'm sure that many people will never know what happened to them when they were involved in a driving accident, or they think they suffer from a flue that will not go away! Very informative article.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 5 weeks ago from Texas

      Au fait, this is really scary. Kevin's son had several cats over the past 12 year. It makes a person wonder.

      Blessings my dear friend.

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 4 months ago from North Texas

      Bobby (Diogenes), thank you for reading this scary article and sharing your thoughts on the subject. There are a lot of scary nasties in our environment and most of the time if we just use some so-called common sense we'll be OK.

      Washing one's hands and doing it properly (I've written an article about how to do it right) can go a long, long way in protecting us from nasty diseases and disorders. It seems to me people are getting more and more irresponsible in that regard. A simple easy thing, washing one's hands, yet most people think it's too much trouble.

      Appreciate your suggestion, but given what great articles you write about things of that sort, I think you should write about the blood/brain barrier that prevents some organisms, but not all, from entering the human body. xox

    • profile image

      diogenes 5 months ago

      Hi sugar: I must have missed this interesting and scary article previously. Goodness. I though it was just getting another Tory government in June was all we had to worry about. How I cringe when Theresa May appears.

      I often think that we are just a giant food store for billions of viruses and bacteria...and that they may be the most evolved creatures really.

      Misty. Do an article on the blood/brain barrier and why certain organisms, etc., are blocked while other easily pass it.

      R x

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 14 months ago from North Texas

      Paula (Fpherj48), thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts on this subject. Rare meat creeps me out too. Never could stomach it no matter how some people tried to convince me of the advantages and superior taste, etc. I had a friend once of a different ethnicity and she told me how her father enjoyed fried blood. Yes, you read it right. Even now, so many years later, the thought is beyond disgusting.

      I'm a cat person too, but sadly I am allergic to cats. I wasn't allergic to them until I was tested during massive allergy tests for a multitude of things, and the test caused me to become allergic. :(((

      These parasites really are nasty. Even if you aren't concerned with pregnancy, keep in mind that they are believed to cause people to become suicidal and that effects pretty much everyone. Especially since the preferred method seems to be a car accident. I know, sounds a lot like an Elvira movie or maybe the Twilight Zone.

      Thanks again for commenting! Take care . . .

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 14 months ago from North Texas

      Shyron, thank you for stopping by! I hope your friend with this unfortunate parasite receives successful treatment.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 14 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      I don't know if I read this when it came around 1st.time. Uh-oh, an age-related brain issue? Just kidding. On our site, reading & commenting so much over 5 years can confuse anyone.

      In any case, I am familiar with this parasite. However as with all of your work, no one can compare to your impeccable research and excellent writing style. I certainly learned more, much more. It does stand to reason that a parasite can wreak all sorts of havoc. The mere thought of parasites in general, creeps me out, Au fait!

      I do love my cats and I haven't been pregnant for at least a century I think, so I'm safe there. What little meat I consume, I make certain is fresh 1st of all and then well-cooked. I know so many people who continue to order their steaks "bloody"...and BTW, that creeps me out too! LOL My sister, God rest her precious soul, stopped ordering steak when we went out because she couldn't tolerate my faces!! LOL

      These really are facts that most people do not even think about but definitely need to be educated on these subjects. I thank you.

      I hope this has alerted many. A nice side effect of this article would be that people will see to it that their kitties have a complete physical every year! Nice work! Peace, Paula

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 14 months ago from Texas

      Au fait, I am back to share this again, I think we know someone who has this disease/parasites.

      This is very interesting and I hope lots of people read it.

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 2 years ago from North Texas

      Peggy W., thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts and this article, too! Yes, its possible that toxoplasma gondii is the cause of some mental disorders that turn people into criminals.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      With all of the crazy and criminal actions that occur in our world today, it makes one wonder about all those people with psychological problems roaming our streets and what the causative factors might be. Perhaps this accounts for some small fraction of that. Sharing this once again.

      Hope you enjoy your weekend!

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 2 years ago from North Texas

      Patricia (pstraubie48) thank you for stopping by and commenting on this article, and for sending the angels. This is important information and it involves more than just the cat's litter box. There are other ways one can contract this parasite including certain foods we eat. Also, if you have an outdoor cat digging in the garden can be a risk.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      I was aware of the dangers to pregnant women but was unaware of others who may be in danger.

      I am very careful when changing my kitty's litter box and now will continue to be ever vigilant.

      This is important information for all of us to know.

      Angels are on the way to you today ps

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 2 years ago from North Texas

      DeborahDian, thank you for reading/commenting on this article and for helping to get the word out that pregnant women especially, need to be very careful around cat waste and cats. I love cats, but one needs to be careful cleaning up after them, etc.

    • DeborahDian profile image

      Deborah Carr 2 years ago from Orange County, California

      This is such a shocking article. I knew that women are not supposed to clean litter boxes when they are pregnant, but I did not know about the dangers of undercooked meat, nor the potential problems these parasites could cause. I am definitely sharing this, because very few people are aware of this information.

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 2 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you techygran for your continued interest in this article and the subject. Moonlake has also written an interesting article about this subject, based I believe, on her daughter's experience of being treated for this parasite.

    • techygran profile image

      Cynthia 2 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

      Thank you -- Merry Christmas to you and yours, as well...

      I came across this video on a friend's facebook page yesterday and must say that I was SHOCKED when I watched it, remembering what you wrote about cats and rats and toxoplasma gondii... hope this shows up: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=7849127982191...

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 2 years ago from North Texas

      Techygran, thank you for taking the time to read and comment on this article! And be sure to give my thanks to your husband for selecting this article to hear you read aloud. People really just need to be very careful about hygiene and then this shouldn't be an issue. Pregnant women need to be especially careful if they are around cats, or like to garden (where neighbor's or stray cats may have been).

      Hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas!

    • techygran profile image

      Cynthia 2 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

      Oh my, I'm reading aloud for ten minutes a day to supposedly extend my brain vitality, and this was the article my husband selected to listen to. I'm over the initial shock and repulsion, but I can't help thinking of all the people I know who have cats and, concomitantly, also have health issues that don't respond to the usual meds used to combat those diagnoses (when they DO get a proper diagnosis-- it seems to me that there are a lot of people going around-- at least in Canada-- without a diagnosis for what ails them). And, yes, I'm back to being vegan again, washing my veggies well, washing my hands, and watching what my little dog grazes on when we have her out for a walk. Thank you for your wonderful investigative mind, obviously not a hang-out for these wee beasties. I'm voting this up, useful and awesome, and sharing extensively-- in fact, it might become my life's work. ~Cynthia

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Nadine May, thank you for reading, commenting, and for you kind compliment. I do try to be thorough. :)

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Grand Old Lady, thank you for reading and commenting on this article and for the vote. Practicing good hygiene will usually prevent this disease and it's a good disease to avoid. :)

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Lady Guinevere, thank you for reading and commenting on this article! Generally a person doesn't realize when they are infected with toxoplasma gondii. The first symptoms, when there are any symptoms, mimic a cold or coming down with the flu, and then they clear up and no cold or flu develops and it is forgotten. Often, as stated above, no symptoms are obvious. One has to be tested for this to know for sure if the have it or not.

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you for reading and commenting PegCole17. There is a lot of ongoing research for the reasons you mentioned. You can be sure it they conclude with certainty that people with this parasite do in fact cause more car accidents and accidents, action to deal with the parasite and possibly even preventing people with the parasite from driving or operating heavy equipment will be next. Expect it may be given consideration as a weapon at some point too.

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you Rochelle Frank for reading and commenting on this article! I suggested that very thing may have happened as soon as I learned about toxoplasma gondii. As you say, it could explain a lot, not only about our Congress, but about a lot of things in our world.

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Peggy W, thank you for Google+ing this article and for sharing it!

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 3 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Never heard of this kind of parasite. Again I've learned something. You have done your research so well done.

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      This is very helpful and informative. The parasite sounds so scary and the fact that it is so plentiful, is present in the brain and can control brains is very frightening. Very useful information, and voted up.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 3 years ago from West By God

      Great and new information. You really did your homework on this one. Thank goodness cats are not the top infecter/infected in this. I have always had cats and I always clean out the litter box and I have never gotten this parasite.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Amazing thing these little parasites. It's incredible that they are so prevalent in the human brain. That is really scary. You would think a lot more research would go into developing a prevention or a cure, considering the number of people who house indoor cats or eat undercooked meat. Thanks for the information. Very important.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 3 years ago from California Gold Country

      25% in the U.S? That explains a lot. Do you think someone let a bunch of these buggars loose in the halls of congress?

      In any case, I hope scientists will soon get closer to finding a proper treatment and cure for those infected.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

      G+ has not yet seen this hub at least from me. Sending it there today and giving it another share. Such an interesting post!

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Shyron, thank you for voting on and sharing this article. It is scary and I hope they get to the bottom of the control thing. Blessings to you and yours also . . . hope you are well.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago from Texas

      Au fait here I am to share this again, because it is so interesting.

      This is such a scary thing to think about something inside your head trying to control your mind.

      Voted up UAI and shared.

      Blessings my friend.

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      CraftytotheCore, thanks for stopping by!

    • CraftytotheCore profile image

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Wow, this is very interesting.

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      StephanieBCrosby, thank you for commenting on this article! Given some of the strange things parasites can cause, some of which are listed in this article, I think it's good that doctors are giving parasites more attention. After all, if they can even cause car accidents or suicide, that's pretty serious.

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you rasta1 for reading and commenting on this article. I know of no one here in the states who has been eaten by a cat or even nibbled on while awaiting emergency services. I'm talking ordinary house cats here. We do have a few big cats in the wild and people have been attacked by them occasionally, but none of the people were eaten.

    • StephanieBCrosby profile image

      Stephanie Bradberry 3 years ago from New Jersey

      Great article. I think the traditional medical community is starting to pay more attention to parasites now that more and more people are coming down with inexplicable symptoms and so on.

    • rasta1 profile image

      Marvin Parke 3 years ago from Jamaica

      A very interesting title. I have heard of this but not so in depth. FYI, cats do eat people when they die.

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you for reading, commenting on, voting on, and sharing this article! It is indeed a horrible thing and can be avoided pretty easily in most cases.

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you Peggy W for sharing/tweeting this hub!

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago from Texas

      Au fait, I just read moonlake's hub on this subject and had to come back to read your again. This is a horrible thing.

      Voted up U/I and shared again.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Revisiting this well written hub and will share again and tweet.

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you Denise Handlon, for reading, commenting, voting on, and sharing this article on FB as well as with followers, and for pinning it too!

      What is believed to be the intelligence of this parasite is curious, but I wonder how intelligent it is to cause car accidents and suicides in humans where there is all but no chance they'll be eaten by cats? They are only destroying their own habitat.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina

      Absolutely fascinating, Au fait. I've shared this important article on FB, Pinterest, and with my followers. UP/U / A and I I've learned a lot about this parasite. It's just amazing how 'smart' this parasite is.

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you Deborah-Diane for sharing this article. Gardening is another activity that can be risky for pregnant women.

    • Deborah-Diane profile image

      Deborah-Diane 3 years ago from Orange County, California

      I'm resharing this important article because so many young women are not aware of the possible danger they face from cleaning their cat's litter box. I hope their husbands will see this, too, so they understand the importance of taking care of this chore for their pregnant wives! Thanks for writing this.

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Sam (samowhamo), thank you for reading and commenting on this hub!

      You have no offended me Sam, nor angered me, etc. My skin has gotten pretty thick over time, otherwise I would have curled up and died from all the stuff life has thrown at me and continues to sling. So I often come off tough unintentionally because I've often had to be tough. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts, Sam!

    • samowhamo profile image

      samowhamo 4 years ago

      Oh and I have a couple of new articles here that you might have missed just in case you are interested in checking them out.

      http://samowhamo.hubpages.com/hub/The-Beauty-Of-Dr...

      http://samowhamo.hubpages.com/hub/Dinosaur-Monster...

    • samowhamo profile image

      samowhamo 4 years ago

      Very interesting and at the same time kind of creepy. I think I may have heard of something like this before on a show on Animal Planet called Monsters Inside Me about serious parasites. Voted up and interesting Au Fait and thank you for responding to my Email and again I am sorry if I said anything offensive it was not my intention too as I have said before I am not in the habit of deliberately offending people. Very good read Au Fait. :)

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you DDE for reading and sharing your thoughts on this issue and for your votes! The parasites are not new and I first heard about them when I was a child several years ago, but what is new is that scientists are discovering the long term affect these bacteria have on living things including humans.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Very interesting on this topic I am speechless about such an outcome of Toxoplasma gondii People Are Being Controlled by Tiny Parasites in Their Brains, this is an informative and useful hub. Sounds so fiction. Voted up!

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Aunt Jimi, thank you for reading and commenting, voting on and sharing this article. Toxoplasma gondii is a scary prospect especially since once a person contracts it they have it for the rest of their life.

    • Aunt Jimi profile image

      Aunt Jimi 4 years ago from The reddest of the Red states!

      This sounds like a horror movie, but there are people who really have this condition. I've heard of the issues for pregnant women before, but didn't know all this other stuff. People have more car accidents when they have this parasite? Wow! Watch out for cat owners on the road!

      Voting this up and will share with my followers.

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you Shyron, for voting and sharing this article, and for your tireless support. Hope all is well there with both of you.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 4 years ago from Texas

      This is scary but I came back to read it again, something reminded me of it and I will share it again. Voted up, Useful, Interesting and I will share with my followers. This really should be hub of the day.

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you for stopping by Aunt Jimi! You do come up with some pretty funny things sometimes . . .

    • Aunt Jimi profile image

      Aunt Jimi 4 years ago from The reddest of the Red states!

      Thought about this hub and came to the conclusion that most of the people in the Voldemort Party and its supporters probably have these worms in their brains. Would explain a lot.

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you Peggy W for pinning this hub and more thanks again for all the previous pins!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Adding this to my health related subject board on Pinterest. You are well represented there! Happy Memorial Day!

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      MasculistFeminist, thank you for reading and commenting on this hub! It is scary, but in most cases good hygiene and common sense will protect a person from this particular parasite.

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Thanks for stopping by Glenda. I recommend you read my hub again because the answers to your questions are in it. ;)

    • MasculistFeminist profile image

      Ryan 4 years ago from Australia

      This is some pretty scary stuff. However the molecular biologist in me can see a large potential for drug development. Understanding the biochemistry of this disease could open up some doors on how to treat various forms of mental illness. There are a lot of species out there that produce strange exotic substances. This is especially true of fungi and parasites. Interesting Hub.

      All I can say is that I am glad I have a dog and not cat! Although worms and so forth are still a problem.

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you, moonlake, for reading and commenting on this article. You are correct in that a person can have these parasites with no symptoms and I think I mentioned that in this article. Anyway, I have added a prominent link in this article to your article on this subject. I think my readers will find it very interesting and helpful. Thank you for letting me know about it.

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you Glenda Jacks, for sharing with your friends and for stopping by and checking out this article. Hopefully everyone is paying wise attention to hygiene, especially hand washing in this case, but I can't think of anything that would more motivating than the thought of this nasty bug in one's brain simply because they failed to wash their hands or failed t cook their meat done.

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you Jared Miles for reading, commenting, and voting on this hub! I think the parasites have probably been controlling their hosts for a long time, but we just discovered it recently.

      I DO learn something every day and that's what makes life exciting! Thanks again!!

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Kasman, thank you for reading, commenting, voting on and sharing this article!

      I had to laugh when I read your comment. Of course these parasites have been with us for a long time, probably since the dawn of time, but only recently has it been discovered that they control their host's minds. Yes, a bit scary, but these parasites have always been scary, especially if one is pregnant.

      I know a lot of people said they had never heard of them before, but I heard about them when I was a little girl, and that was a while ago. It's important not to mess with cat dew and not to eat meat that isn't well done. Wash your hands after gardening and playing in the sandbox or at the playground with the kids and make sure everyone keeps their hands away from their face until they've been washed.

      I know you won't really harm your mother's cat, but it was funny the way you wrote your reaction. No need to jump off the deep end, just take reasonable precautions that are always a good idea.

      Thanks again for your comment!

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      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Rajan Jolly, thank you for reading, commenting, voting on and sharing this hub! I'm not sure the brains of the parasites are so well developed as they are programmed to secrete a particular hormone or substance that in turn affects the behavior of their hosts, human or otherwise. Further research will hopefully answer many questions about this.

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      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you Deborah-Diane for reading, commenting, voting on, and sharing this information with women who may be or soon will be come pregnant. This parasite has always been with us and has always been a threat to unborn babies, but what is new is the discovery that it can control it's host.

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      Glenda 4 years ago

      This is so frightening, just to think about these things being in you head, much less in the brain. Is there a way to get rid of them and what do you do about them. I will dream about this tonight. yuck!

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      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      My daughter had this and I have a hub on what she went through. Interesting hub. You can also have it without any symptoms.

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      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you KenWu for reading, commenting, voting on and sharing this hub! Researchers are looking at how this parasite is able to control it's host and there is some who think it may be a biological chemical reaction that is not controlled by the parasite and would therefore not require intelligence.

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      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you Aunt Jimi for reading and commenting. Washing one's hands can go such a long way in preventing sickness of all kinds!

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      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      lisauniquevoice, thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

      How long has the sun been shining? I think we need more research before we just accept that the sun can cause skin cancer, after all, the sun has been with us a very long time . . . ;)

      Research on this subject is ongoing and will continue until scientists discover exactly how these parasites control their hosts.

      No one said anything about cats controlling their owners minds, but you raise an interesting possibility. I wouldn't put anything past cats . . . raw meat on the other hand, has been known to cause all kinds of disease.

      The statistics on toxoplasma gondii come from the CDC (Center for Disease Control) so I can see how you might find them questionable. After all, the CDC is government. We can't trust anything from the government can we? ;)

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      Glenda Jacks 4 years ago

      Oh my, I don't like to think about such things, it is interesting. I am not a writer on here so I can only tell my friends or e-mail a link to you article and will do that.

      Glenda

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      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you Peggy W for reading, commenting, voting on, and sharing this hub! Research continues regarding finding solutions as well as trying to better understand to what extent these bacteria are able to control the human brain. What all are they responsible for causing or contributing to? Science is looking for those answers.

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      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Tillsontitan, thank you for reading, commenting, and voting on this hub and for your generous praise. I hope you learned something useful in this hub! ;)

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      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you vandynegl, for stopping by and leaving a comment. It's only scary if you don't understand how to manage it. Toxoplasma gondii has been with us always, but we are just now discovering some of the ways it guarantees it's own existence. Don't eat raw or poorly cooked meat, wash your hands after cleaning the litter box and gardening, or digging in the sandbox at the playground, and all should be well.

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      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you Angela Blair for reading and commenting on this hub and especially for sharing your contemplations. ;) I don't know if our politicians have these things in their brains. I'm more inclined to think they are themselves the parasites!

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      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you Shyron, for reading, commenting, voting on, and sharing this hub. It IS scary, but good hygiene can go a long way in protecting people as can cooking their meat until it's done -- no need to be burnt unless you just like it that way, but rare and medium rare, etc., is asking for trouble -- especially with pork.

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      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you SidKemp for making those good suggestions in an effort to appease Doodlehead's fears. Unfortunately, this is a parasite that once ingested remains in your brain, heart, muscles, and sometimes your eyes too, for the rest of your life. They create little protective cysts around themselves so that even your immune system cannot attack them at all much less with any success. So far, nothing touches them.

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      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you JayeWisdom for reading, commenting and voting on this hub! These parasites have been with us for centuries, which is why so many people are infected. If you cook your meat 'til done and wash your hands after gardening, lawn work, and cleaning the litter box, you should be fine.

      The parasite isn't new, but the discovery that it can control the brain is new.

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      Jared Miles 4 years ago from Australia

      A well-researched, educational Hub. I suppose you learn something new everyday.

      It's interesting to think how these parasites have developed the capacity to alter human behaviour, and the statistics you've provided have proved to be absolutely fascinating.

      I vote up, and I look forward to reading your work again in the future.

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      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      DeborahNeyens, thank you for reading and commenting on this hub! Yes, I have known since I was a young child around 10 or so that pregnant women should avoid cat feces. What hasn't been known until recently is that the parasites have the ability to control brains. The question is what affect do they have on the human brain in the way of furthering the parasite's agenda. Research continues in an effort to answer this and other questions.

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      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Diogenes: Thank you Bob for stopping by and letting me know you're still alive, and for reading this hub and commenting.

      For some reason HP put your comment in SPAM, and even when I said it wasn't SPAM it still didn't appear with the unmoderated comments as it should have, but in the denied ones! Just so you know and appreciate all the trouble I went to so that your comment wouldn't be ignored . . . xx

      I know men are very visually oriented, so I doubt these parasites would have much affect on a man's interest since they are not visible and therefore can neither cause excitement or not. They're not especially hot to look at anyway, do you think? :)

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      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you Doodlehead for leaving a comment on this hub.

      You could kill every living creature that might harbor toxoplasma Gondii, but that would sort of defeat the purpose I guess. Once a person (or animal) is infected, that person or animal has the parasite for life.

      Make sure your meat is well done (or become a vegetarian) and that you don't play in the sand where cats leave their little packages and you should be fine. Wash your hands thoroughly after gardening or cleaning the litter box. See my hub on washing your hands correctly.

      Lots of people live what passes for a 'normal' life even while they harbor the little cysts in their brains that contain the parasite. ;)

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      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      I'm going to go and kill my mother's cat now.

      Voting this up, sharing, scary, makes me want to have brain surgery!

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      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Very interesting and who could have thought that being as microscopic as these parasites are, their brains would be as developed, as to have the capacity to manipulate human behavior.

      Excellent hub. Voted up, interesting and shared.

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      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      mperrottet, thank you for reading, commenting, voting on and sharing this article! Some studies underway are trying to determine any links this parasite may have to mental disorders of all kinds. Some researchers believe there is a correlation but so far it isn't conclusive as to whether the parasite actually caused the disorder or if those infected people just happen to have both the parasite and the mental/personality disorder.

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      Deborah-Diane 4 years ago from Orange County, California

      This was a fascinating article because I had never heard about this parasite until I read your Hub. Very scary. Definitely voted up and I will pass this information to others ... especially young women I know who are planning to become pregnant. Very interesting.

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      KenWu 4 years ago from Malaysia

      Au fait, this is very scary. And the way they do to draw rat towards cats is some sort of built in intelligence they possessed. It's getting clearer that we human is not a superb being. There are more intelligent unseen creatures in this world.

      This worth sharing, votings!

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      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you SidKemp for reading and commenting on this article and for sharing some very good points. You may be right.

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      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you Paul Kuehn for reading, commenting, voting on and especially for sharing/pinning/tweeting this hub.

      Once a person has contracted toxoplasma gondii there is currently no 'cure,' or means of getting rid of it. Currently this condition is for a lifetime. Some people will have symptoms but most people will not. There may be hope for a 'cure' in the future, although that wasn't mentioned in any of the information I found.

      Because many people weren't clear about the symptoms and diagnosis of this condition, I have added another capsule that includes nothing but that. I have also set the sentence stating the above information apart from the other text to make it stand out (2nd capsule). You might want to give it a look.

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      Aunt Jimi 4 years ago from The reddest of the Red states!

      Checked a couple of your references (the science ones) and they have a ton of information about how this worm does its dirty work and actually explain how it does it. Interesting!

      The evidence shows that infected people have a much higher incidence of the negative symptoms you write about here -- neuroticism, car accidents, personality issues, and so on. Very interesting hub and to be sure I'll be washing my hands a lot and making sure any meat I eat is well done!!

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      Lisa Brown 4 years ago from Michigan

      This article makes people think that they can have their mind controled ultimately by cats and undercooked meat. How long have people had cats, and how long have people been eating undercooked meat? We need more research to come to such conclusions.

      Lisa

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      vandynegl 4 years ago from Ohio Valley

      Very interesting! I'm always open to learning more about the strange and scary "stuff" that's out there!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Wow...who knew that these parasites can do so much to affect our behavior! Knowing that a good portion of us already have them in our brains is scary. That video was well worth the time to watch. Now besides worrying about drivers using cell phones we have to wonder how many of them are infected with toxoplasma gondii. We need more research to find a cure! Up votes and sharing. You do come up with the most interesting hubs!!!

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      Angela Blair 4 years ago from Central Texas

      Excellent Hub/research. I knew vaguely of this sort of thing but you've certainly filled in a lot of blanks for me here. (Tongue in cheek, here -- do you suppose most of our politicians are infected with this malady and that's why most of their thinking is so skewed?) LOL -- Best/Sis

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      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      Parasites in the brain! I have to agree with Jaye, it does sound like a Sci-Fi thriller. Yet again Au Fait you find a subject no one has even dreamed about and give us lots of good information from your impeccable research.

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.