Did Your Cat Cause Your Schizophrenia?

August 3, 2010
Shrink Rap

Dinah shares a story from the Baltimore Sun on a Johns Hopkins study looking at a parasite in cats that could be behind schizophrenia.

This Article originally appeared on Shrink Rap on August 2.

From the front page of today's Baltimore Sun: Researchers Explore Link Between Schizophrenia, Cat Parasite.

Frank D. Roylance writes:

Johns Hopkins Universityscientists trying to determine why people develop serious mental illnessare focusing on an unlikely factor: a common parasite spread by cats.The researcherssay the microbes, called Toxoplasma gondii, invade the human brainand appear to upset its chemistry — creating, in some people, the psychotic behaviors recognized as schizophrenia.If tackling the parasite can help solve the mystery of schizophrenia, "it's a pretty good opportunity … to relieve a pretty large burden of disease,"said Dr. Robert H. Yolken, director of developmental neurobiology at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center.

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Shrink Rap Dinah blogs at Shrink Rap, a blog by Psychiatrists for Psychiatrists. A place to talk; no one has to listen. All patient vignettes are confabulated; the psychiatrists, however, are mostly real. --Topics include psychotherapy, humor, depression, bipolar, anxiety, schizophrenia, medications, antidepressants, antipsychotics, ethics, psychopharmacology, forensic and correctional psychiatry, psychology, mental health, chocolate, and emotional support ducks. Don't ask.