A reaction to a parasite known as Toxoplasma gondii was indicated as a possible cause of schizophrenia in research that was conducted in 1995. The hypothesis that cat ownership might be connected to the risk of developing schizophrenia was presented back then. The findings of the studies conducted up to this point have been contradictory. However, thanks to an examination of 17 studies that were published over the course of the past 44 years from 11 different nations, including the US as well as the UK, carried out by researchers from Australia, and as a result, we have obtained intriguing new data.
It is essential to bear in mind that such type of research is unable to demonstrate a causal relationship between the two variables (schizophrenia and cats), and it frequently fails to take into account factors that might have influenced both the level of exposure and result.
Discover the full story below.
The presence of cats in a person’s environment during childhood has been actually linked to a high risk of developing schizophrenia, according to certain research; however, not all investigations have discovered a correlation between the two entities. It appears that the culprit is T. gondii, a parasite that is largely innocuous and can be spread by the consumption of undercooked meat or water that has been polluted.
We found an association between broadly defined cat ownership and increased odds of developing schizophrenia-related disorders, explains John McGrath, a psychiatrist, and fellow researcher from the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research.
The transmission of T. gondii can also occur by the bite of an infected cat or through the excrement of an infected cat. In the United States, it is believed that over forty million people may be infected, the majority of whom do not exhibit any symptoms. Meanwhile, researchers continue to uncover an increasing number of peculiar impacts that diseases may have. There is consensus among the researchers that a more comprehensive study is required before we can arrive at any definitive interpretations.
What other studies found?
There was no correlation between having a cat and schizotypy scores, according to the findings of a study conducted in the United States that comprised 354 psychology students. Those individuals, on the other hand, who had been bitten by a cat got greater scores in comparison with the ones who had not been bitten. On the other hand, one study indicated that there was no significant correlation between having a cat before the age of 13 and later developing schizophrenia. However, when the analysis was narrowed down to a specific period of time (ages 9 to 12), the researchers discovered that there was a substantial link between the two.
The Schizophrenia Bulletin has more authentic facts and thoughts regarding the study, and you can read about it here.