January 31, 2019 – 12:02
Cats are for many ideal pets because of their independence and way of behaving. For years, hundreds of cultures worshiped cats, but now a study destroys its image by arguing that they carry a parasite that can trigger schizophrenia in humans.
Toxoplasma gondii spreads among people through contact with warehouse cubes and the consumption of raw meat.
T. gondii, as it is commonly known, does not usually hurt, but scientists at the University of Copenhagen have done research that turned out to be contrary, as the risk of developing schizophrenia increases by 50 percent for those infected by the virus.
More than 80,000 individuals were analyzed by specialists at the University of Copenhagen in the Danish Blood Donation Study, where they found 2,000 591 people with negative psychiatric conditions.
It was a doctor. Kristoffer Sølvsten Burgdorf, who led the analysis of samples of infected individuals, sought traces of immunoglobulin antibodies with the presence of T. gondii.
The team discovered the parasite in a quarter of the population studied in Copenhagen, of which 61 percent of people carry cytomegalovirus (CMV), a virus that also causes cognitive impairment.
The study found that those infected with T. gondii were almost 50% more likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia than those who did not, according to the results.
This "confirms that toxoplasma has a positive effect on the rate of schizophrenia," explains the researchers.
Dr. Burgdorf's contributors explained that for this reason they linked the parasite with the onset of schizophrenia, in addition to being unrelated to other psychiatric disorders.
This parasite can inhibit the action of amino acid in the body called tryptophan, which would cause large amounts of metabolites such as cinuronic acid, a substance previously found in people with schizophrenia.
"Tryptophan is also an essential precursor of serotonin, which is involved in depressive disorders," the authors write.
According to Daily Mail, T. gondii parasite can cause infection in people called toxoplasmosis, which causes flu-like symptoms; while pregnant women may suffer from spontaneous abortion or stillbirths.
The University of Chicago, meanwhile, said that nearly a third of the world's population is also infected by this virus that can cause psychological damage.
This university school has 60 million people in the United States and 350 thousand in the United Kingdom.
A healthy immune system can fight it, so its symptoms are almost imperceptible.