Sentient Biped sent me another really cool article on cats. So here I am sharing it with all of you.

 

How Your Cat Is Making You Crazy

Jaroslav Flegr is no kook. And yet, for years, he suspected his mind had been taken over by parasites that had invaded his brain. So the prolific biologist took his science-fiction hunch into the lab. What he’s now discovering will startle you. Could tiny organisms carried by house cats be creeping into our brains, causing everything from car wrecks to schizophrenia? A biologist’s science- fiction hunch is gaining credence and shaping the emerging science of mind- controlling parasites.
By Kathleen McAuliffe

The parasite T. gondii, seen here, may be changing connections between our neurones, altering how we act and feel. (Dennis Kunkel Microscropy, Inc./Visuals Unlimited/Corbis Images)

Read the article here.



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Replies to This Discussion

Whoa!

I think about Toxo often, while washing my hands after cleaning the litter box. This is scary stuff.

Jerry won't let me sleep.  If I shut my bedroom door, he sits there and sings, yodels, yowls till I have to let him in, no matter what time it is.  (He sleeps all day.)  Then I have to pet him for an hour or so, or he will stomp all over the bed and around my pillow.  When I finally do fall asleep, he waits awhile, and then starts head-bonking me to wake me up so I can pet him some more.

I be tired.

New information on toxo infection and suicide.

Cat Parasite Linked to Suicide Attempts in Humans

Thanks - I will follow the link, appreciate it.

Common Parasite May Trigger Suicide Attempts: Inflammation from T. ...

Toxoplasma gondii infection linked to suicide attempts.

Thanks - I am just now learning about all this.

New data on how toxo changes infected humans.

How a Cat-Borne Parasite Infects Humans

... Czech evolutionary biologist named Jaroslav Flegr has made headlines for a radical claim: that a common parasite called Toxoplasma gondii is controlling our brains.

Flegr discovered that the behaviors that toxo provokes in rats in order to get them eaten—slowed reaction times, lethargy, reduction in fear—also show up in infected humans.

In order to travel throughout the body and, most importantly, to the brain, toxo hijacks ... the white blood cells. ... it also turns them into tiny chemical factories, producing a neurotransmitter known to reduce fear and anxiety in rats—and in humans.

Over the next 15 years, using experimentation and analysis of public health data, Flegr discovered a series of fascinating links between toxo and human behavior. A toxo-infected person is more than twice as likely to be in a car accident—which Flegr attributes to the parasite's tendency to reduce reaction time—and has a higher than normal risk of developing schizophrenia. Other scientists have shown a connection between toxo and an increased risk of suicide. [emphasis mine]

Thanks Ruth - I am trying to learn more about his topic.

A new treatment for toxo has emerged.

Statin, Osteoporosis Drug Combo May Help Treat Parasitic Infections

Researchers at the University of Georgia have discovered that a combination of two commonly prescribed drugs used to treat high cholesterol and osteoporosis may serve as the foundation of a new treatment for toxoplasmosis, a parasitic infection caused by the protozoan Toxoplasma gondii.

The UGA researchers discovered that a combination of the cholesterol lowering drug atorvastatin and osteoporosis medication zoledronic acid, both more commonly known by their respective trade names, Lipitor and Zometa, produce changes in the mammalian host and in the parasite that ultimately block parasite replication and spread of the infection.

"These two drugs have a strong synergy," said Moreno, who is also a member of UGA's Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases. "The mice we treated were cured from a lethal infection using this combination approach." [emphasis mine]

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