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Owning cats can cause schizophrenia, study finds

Owning cats can cause schizophrenia, study finds
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Owning cats can cause schizophrenia, study finds

Hespress ENThursday 7 December 2023 – 13:24

Owning a cat before the age of 25 can cause Schizophrenia, concluded researchers from the University of Queensland in Australia.  Researchers conducted a meta-analysis of existing research spanning 11 countries, such as the US and the UK, published over the last 44 years.

The team discovered that individuals who had exposure to cats before the age of 25 were roughly twice as likely to develop schizophrenia. According to the paper, scientists claim that this association is likely attributed to a parasite called Toxoplasma gondii, or T. gondii, found in pet cats, which can enter the body through a bite.

This parasite has the ability to infiltrate the central nervous system, impacting neurotransmitters in the brain and potentially causing psychiatric disorders, psychotic symptoms, and personality changes,  such as schizophrenia.

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