Home » Trending Health News » Parasite Carried by Cats Could Cause Mental Illness in Adults: Report

Parasite Carried by Cats Could Cause Mental Illness in Adults: Report

Trending Health News

For many people, there’s no better animal companion than a cat. After all, they’re cute, independent, and often a lot cleaner than dogs. But new studies show they can carry a dangerous parasite that may actually affect their human owners in a very negative way.

New studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that up to 60-million Americans may be affected by Toxoplasma gondii (or T. Gondii), a parasite carried by cats.

The good news is that most people will never show signs of a Toxoplasma gondii infection. However, those who do may develop toxoplasmosis, an illness that can result in miscarriages, fetal development problems, the flu, blindness, and even death.

Now, new research shows that the parasite could also cause mental illness. E. Fuller Torrey of the Stanley Medical Research Institute and Dr. Robert H. Yolken of Stanley Laboratory of Developmental Neurovirology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine are currently investigating the issue.

Specifically, they’ve been looking for links between T. Gondii and mental health problems, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. They say they’ve found evidence to suggest that people who own cats are more likely to develop these serious mental illnesses.

“Cat ownership in childhood has now been reported in three studies to be significantly more common in families in which the child is later diagnosed with schizophrenia or another serious mental illness,” the authors note in a new report.

So, how can we keep people, and especially kids, safe from a T. Gondii infection? Torrey says the key is to keep cats indoors, limiting the chance that they will become infected by another cat and spread that infection to their human owners.


More on ActiveBeat

  • You're Too Hard on Yourself: 6 Subtle Ways you Beat Yourself Up
    A recent study from the world of psychology finds that we're too hard on ourselves. In fact, the findings, published in the journal Self and Identity claim that we tend to beat...
    Trending Health News
  • 7 Misconceptions Concerning Youth and Mental Health
    When it comes to mental health affecting youth, there are many myths and misconceptions for parents and kids to overcome.
    Trending Health News
  • The 10 Most Common Fear Motivators
    Fear is said to be the most powerful emotion known to humankind. More powerful even than love. Our very survival depends on it.
    Trending Health News
  • 6 Ways Guilt Affects Your Emotional Health
    How many times have you felt guilty today? If you really give it some thought, you’ve probably felt minor feelings of guilt creep in when you didn’t have the time or energy to...
    Trending Health News
  • 5 Colors that Affect your Mood
    We all have our favorite colors, but did you know that certain colors can actually affect your mental and physical state?
    Trending Health News
  • 6 Behaviors Of Emotionally Strong Individuals
    Change. Some people take it in stride while others pout, cry, grumble, and fight it every step of the way.
    Trending Health News
  • 6 Ways to Unplug and Reconnect
    It may seem that you can't live without your smart phone these days. After all, how else do you find out where your friends are, find a decent restaurant in the neighbourhood, or...
    Trending Health News
  • 5 Steps to Breaking a Bad Habit
    It can seem impossible sometimes to break a nasty habit, whether it be smoking, constantly checking your phone, chewing your nails, cracking your knuckles or even coughing and...
    Trending Health News
  • Hacking Your Will Power
    We are filled with the best intentions. We would love to be productive—whether that means losing weight, living healthy or meeting deadlines, but it can be hard to convince...
    Trending Health News
  • 60-Second Quick Happiness Fixes
    Moving at the fast pace of a 21st-century life, we all experience little aches and pains throughout our day.
    Trending Health News
  • 9 Bad Habits that Impact Mental Health
    Unbeknownst to many, seemingly innocent habits, even tiny ones, can affect your mental health.
    Trending Health News
  • Demand for Plastic Surgery Rising Thanks to 'Selfie' Phenomenon
    A new study shows that the rising popularity of 'selfies' is leading more and more people to undergo pricey plastic surgery.
    Trending Health News
  • Challenge Yourself: Try Something New and Good for Your Health
    Motivating yourself to consistently make healthy choices and maintain a healthy lifestyle can be difficult.
    Trending Health News
  • The 6 Health Powers Behind Smiling
    And now for something that will really put a smile on your face. Not only are smiles free—they also have the ability to do all sorts of positive things for our health and...
    Trending Health News
  • Don't Let Anger Ruin Your Health
    When you get angry do you simmer slowly or do you jump right to the point of boiling over?
    Trending Health News