We do not expect this to be a very popular article.Ai?? In fact, it’s not very popular to many of us here at BTI who are animal lovers.Ai?? But like one animal in particular, the ostrich, we don’t want to be found with our heads in the sand.Ai?? In short, enough studies are coming out to strongly suggest that, yes, your cat could be making you crazy.
“Could tiny organisms carried by house cats be creeping into our brains, causing everything from car wrecks to schizophrenia? A biologistai??i??s science- fiction hunch is gaining credence and shaping the emerging science of mind-controlling parasites.”
This particular biologist is Jaroslav Flegr (#13 FCIR), and the culprit is a parasite called oxoplasma gondii (T. gondii or Toxo for short), which is excreted by cats in their feces.Ai?? Have you ever heard it said that pregnant women should avoid litter boxes?Ai?? That is because this little microbe causes toxoplasmosis.Ai?? Since the 1920s, doctors have recognized that a woman who becomes infected with this disease during pregnancy can transmit it to the fetus, resulting in severe brain damage or even death, in some cases.Ai?? It is also a threat to people with a weakened immunities.
Flegr, however, goes a step further by saying the parasite may be quietly tweaking the connections between our neurons, “changing our response to frightening situations, our trust in others, how outgoing we are, and even our preference for certain scents.” He believes it can contribute to car crashes, suicides, and even schizophrenia.Ai?? While he indeed has faced opposition for some time by other leading scientists, things are beginning to change, and Jaroslav is beginning to gain respectability.Ai?? Flegrai??i??s ai???studies are well conducted, and I can see no reason to doubt them,ai??? says Stanfordai??i??s renowned scientist, Robert Sapolsky.Ai?? Other findings are even suggesting that the parasite is capable ofAi??turning a ratai??i??s strong innate aversion to cats into an attraction, causing it to actually want to be with its long-time predator.Ai?? The parasite is said to rewire circuits in parts of the brain that deal with emotions like fear, anxiety, and sexual arousal.Ai?? ai???This is wild, bizarre neurobiology,ai??? says Sapolsky.
Schizophrenia expert E. Fuller Torrey, director of the Stanley Medical Research Institute in Maryland, also thinks Flegr is on to something.Ai?? ai???I admire Jaroslav for doing [this research].Ai?? Itai??i??s obviously not politically correct, in the sense that not many labs are doing it. Heai??i??s done it mostly on his own, with very little support. I think it bears looking at. I find it completely credible.ai???
The source article is long, and we encourage BTInsiders to take a look, if nothing else than to consider and judge for yourselves.Ai?? And factor this in, too, as BTI Director Jonathan Niednagel has mentioned and written for a long time … there are scores of external, non-DNA causes that skew the personas of each Brain Typeai??i??providing multiple phenotypes.Ai?? Niednagel writes about this in Brain Types and Parenting.You can likely now add one more (surprising) influence to the many already known.
Written by: Staff