Your Cat's Parasite Won't Make You Psychotic, Study Says

Feb 25, 2017, 00:22
Your Cat's Parasite Won't Make You Psychotic, Study Says

Specialists indicate that owning a cat during childhood does not cause mental illness when you grow older.

They wanted to see if a common parasite called "toxoplasma" that is carried by cats would affect the developing brain, making people more vulnerable to mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and psychosis.

New British research challenges earlier beliefs that parasites in cat droppings might be linked to schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder and other mental health issues.

There is no link between owning a cat and the development of mental disorders like schizophrenia, a new study out of University College London says.

"Our study suggests that cat ownership during pregnancy or in early childhood does not pose a direct risk for later psychotic symptoms", said co-author Dr. James Kirkbride in a statement.

But Solmi said the findings indicate that owning a cat doesn't amount to an additional risk for developing psychotic symptoms - in other words, if we assume T. gondii is a driver of mental health disorders, then having a cat around doesn't seem to be more risky than other sources of infection, such as dirty vegetables. New research has cleared the name of cats, helping put to rest the debate over whether the creatures are unsafe because they host a common parasite that may play a role in disorders like schizophrenia.

Jamie Chung to play Blink in Fox's X-Men series
The untitled Marvel TV project revolves around an ordinary couple who finds out that their children possess mutant powers. FOX's Bryan Singer-directed X-Men drama doesn't have a name, or even many confirmed characters, at least until now.

Libyan Red Crescent recovers 74 bodies in latest tragedy of Mediterranean crossing
The figure is likely higher because many deaths go unrecorded, the agency's director, Fabrice Leggeri, said last week. The International Organization of Migration said the traffickers took the engine and left the boat to drift.

Cigna ends merger with Anthem, sues for more than $14B
This afternoon Cigna said it was ending its $48 billion merger agreement with Anthem, according to the Wall Street Journal . Though the companies gave in to the court's decision, management of Anthem and Aetna plan to appeal against it.

That said, separate evidence that suggests parasite exposure can lead to general health problems in children hold up.

Some previous studies wrongfully categorized cats as the cause of mental illnesses.

Cats are the primary hosts of T. gondii, and the parasite can be passed on to humans through contact with cat feces - such as when changing a litter box.

After controlling other factors, such as socioeconomic status or a crowded household, they found that that the data did not point to the cat.

Scientists have pointed out that the one to blame is the parasite known as Toxoplasma gondii.

For cats to have the parasite in their systems, they first must eat contaminated raw meat or an infected rodent - which means that keeping your cat indoors goes a long way toward preventing an infection. As such, we recommend that pregnant women should continue to follow advice not to handle soiled cat litter in case it contains. The study evaluated the data of the participants born between 1991 and 1992 and followed them until the age of 18. However, most individuals who develop toxoplasmosis experience few symptoms because their immune systems keep the parasite from causing illness. While "cat ownership in pregnancy was associated with higher odds of [psychotic experiences] at age 13 years in all models, as was cat ownership at age 4 years", the study's authors note, once they factored in other variables, the cats were off the hook.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
  • Iraqi forces storm Mosul airport, military base

    The Pentagon has said that there will not be a public announcement that accompanies the strategy review. The campaign involves a 100,000-strong force of Iraqi troops, Kurdish fighters and Shi'ite militias.
    Aliyev Appoints Wife as Azerbaijan's Vice-President

    Aliyev Appoints Wife as Azerbaijan's Vice-President

    The First Vice President also assumes the presidency if the president is unable to perform his or her duties. Graduating as a medical doctor, she also secured a degree in philosophy, defending a thesis on euthanasia.
    UPS Tests Drone Delivery in 360-Degree Video

    UPS Tests Drone Delivery in 360-Degree Video

    The company also now uses drones to check inventory on high storage shelves in its warehouses, which is already legal to do. The company on Monday successfully tested a package delivery drone that launches from atop its iconic brown vans.
  • Verizon Gets a Fix on 5G Trials

    Verizon Gets a Fix on 5G Trials

    Verizon's announcement comes shortly after AT&T described its plans for "5G evolution" testing in Austin and Indianapolis . Verizon has yet to comment on what kind of speeds the pilot cities will be experiencing.
    China wants U.S.  to have dialogue with N. Korea

    China wants U.S. to have dialogue with N. Korea

    Coal is North Korea's biggest export and a year ago China imported 22.5 million tonnes, up 14.5 per cent from 2015. Washington had earlier called on Beijing to cut coal imports, which earned Pyongyang US$1 billion in 2015.
    India sets world record with 104 satellites in a single rocket launch

    India sets world record with 104 satellites in a single rocket launch

    The rest were commercial launches for global customers, through agreements with ISRO's commercial arm Antrix Corporation. Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the space scientific community and the nation for this proud feat.
  • Giraffe birth video returns to YouTube

    Giraffe birth video returns to YouTube

    A giraffe Animal Adventure Park at Harpursvile, NY is expecting a calf, and the park is live streaming the birth. The live feed went viral and was up for several hours before it was abruptly pulled off air Thursday morning.
    Battle Against ISIS In Mosul: Iraqi Forces Advance on Airport

    Battle Against ISIS In Mosul: Iraqi Forces Advance on Airport

    It is expected that forces from the Counter Terrorism Service will once again play a key role in the push into western Mosul. Iraqi rapid response forces are seen through a shattered glass window of a military vehicle south of Mosul on Monday.
    Wal-Mart scores solid U.S.  sales; earnings dip

    Wal-Mart scores solid U.S. sales; earnings dip

    The holiday shopping season was challenging for many retailers, underscoring the changes brick-and-mortar stores need to make. The difference between the expected and actual EPS was $0.02/share, which represents an Earnings surprise of 2.1%.
  • Singapore PM to Netanyahu: Stick with 2

    Singapore PM to Netanyahu: Stick with 2

    However, Trump said he expects Israel to temporarily halt the expansion of the settlements, Jewish communities built on Palestinian lands.

    Pedro & Costa Send Chelsea Into FA Cup Quarterfinal

    Antonio Conte: "Yes, John Terry is fit for this game, he's okay". "We will need to punch above our weight and stay in the game as long as we can".

    HTC Is Getting Ready to Launch a Mobile VR Headset

    With a high-end VR headset already available, HTC seems primed to try to steal market share at the lower end of the market. But he did not go into further details, or whether the device would be shipping anytime soon.
popular