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How Your Cat is Making You Crazy (Toxoplasmosis)
The Atlantic ^ | March 2012 | KATHLEEN MCAULIFFE

Posted on 06/22/2012 2:56:31 AM PDT by Bon mots

Jaroslav Flegr

Jaroslav Flegr is no kook. And yet, for years, he suspected his mind had been taken over by parasites that had invaded his brain. So the prolific biologist took his science-fiction hunch into the lab.

What he’s now discovering will startle you. Could tiny organisms carried by house cats be creeping into our brains, causing everything from car wrecks to schizophrenia?

→ more...

(Excerpt) Read more at theatlantic.com ...


TOPICS: Health/Medicine; Pets/Animals; Science; Weird Stuff
KEYWORDS: brain; cats; disease; kittyping; tgondii; toxoplasmosis
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Toxoplasmosis carried by cats is damaging people, and may be more destructive than malaria.

Long known to be deadly to the unborn, it is now clinically proven to severely damage human brains.

Long known to alter the behavior of infected mice and rats - it actually encourages them to commit suicide by seeking out cats. Infected rodents find the smell of cat urine irresistible and they seek out the cat... which results in them being eaten, thereby passing the disease on to the cat... etc.
Now, we find out it changes human behavior and alters our brains. Scary and very true...

More Articles
Mood altering parasite makes women more friendly and men into jerks.

Mood altering parasite – Fox News article

Large increase in traffic accidents thanks to toxoplasmosis infections

Schizophrenia and toxoplasmosis – Increases chances of schizophrenia

Changes in testosterone levels from Toxoplasmosis infection

Reconsider the carpaccio...

1 posted on 06/22/2012 2:56:45 AM PDT by Bon mots
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To: Bon mots

There are many that think that Toxoplasmosis may be responsible for changing the political affiliation of people - that is, it makes you vote Democrat and support illogical economic and social positions.


2 posted on 06/22/2012 2:58:32 AM PDT by Bon mots ("When seconds count, the police are just minutes away...")
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To: Bon mots

Oh nooooz...I feed about 10 cats every day, and several of them come into the house.


3 posted on 06/22/2012 3:01:44 AM PDT by AlexW
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To: AlexW
Oh nooooz...I feed about 10 cats every day, and several of them come into the house.

You are infected.
Vote Obama. :)

4 posted on 06/22/2012 3:05:46 AM PDT by Bon mots ("When seconds count, the police are just minutes away...")
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To: Bon mots

"...this guy would make me cross the street in traffic, tell me he hasn't a dark past when it comes to cats...I wouldn't let him trim my claws."

5 posted on 06/22/2012 3:06:49 AM PDT by Doogle (((USAF.68-73..8th TFW Ubon Thailand..never store a threat you should have eliminated)))
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To: Bon mots; Slings and Arrows

PING this one over to Slings And Arrows. :)=^..^=


6 posted on 06/22/2012 3:09:13 AM PDT by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: AlexW

OOOOOOOOOO NOOOOOOOOOOOOOZZZZZ! If this is infection then infect me! Love me some furry personality ball. :)


7 posted on 06/22/2012 3:09:56 AM PDT by GOP Poet
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To: Doogle
I ordinarilly don't make fun of how a person looks ... certainly not now, as I age and fall apart myself ... but ...

There's just sumthin' about this guy that ....

8 posted on 06/22/2012 3:11:42 AM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof ... but they're true)
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To: AlexW

Whatever you do, DON’T try to give one of them a pill!

1. Pick cat up and cradle it in the crook of your left arm as if holding a baby. Position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cat’s mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand. As cat opens mouth, pop pill into mouth. Allow cat to close mouth and swallow.

2. Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa. Cradle cat in left arm and repeat process.

3. Retrieve cat from bedroom, and throw soggy pill away.

4. Take new pill from foil wrap, cradle cat in left arm holding rear paws tightly with left hand. Force jaws open and push pill to back of mouth with right forefinger. Hold mouth shut for a count of 10.

5. Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from top of wardrobe. Call spouse from garden.

6. Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between knees, holding front and rear paws. Ignore low growls emitted by cat. Get spouse to hold cat’s head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into mouth. Drop pill down ruler and rub cat’s throat vigorously.

7. Retrieve cat from curtain rail, get another pill from foil wrap. Make note to buy new ruler and repair curtains. Carefully sweep shattered figurines from hearth and set to one side for gluing later.

8. Wrap cat in large towel and get spouse to lie on cat with its head just visible from below spouse’s armpit. Put pill in end of drinking straw, force cat’s mouth open with pencil and blow down drinking straw.

9. Check label to make sure pill not harmful to humans, drink glass of water to take taste away. Apply Band-Aid to spouse’s forearm and remove blood from carpet with cold water and soap.

10. Retrieve cat from neighbor’s shed. Get another pill. Place cat in cupboard and close door onto neck to leave head showing. Force mouth open with dessert spoon. Flick pill down throat with elastic band.

11. Fetch screwdriver from garage and put door back on hinges. Apply cold compress to cheek and check records for date of last tetanus shot. Throw T-shirt away and fetch new one from bedroom.

12. Ring fire brigade to retrieve cat from tree across the road. Apologize to neighbor who crashed into fence while swerving to avoid cat. Take last pill from foil wrap.

13. Tie cat’s front paws to rear paws with garden twine and bind tightly to leg of dining table. Find heavy duty pruning gloves from shed. Force cat’s mouth open with small spanner. Push pill into mouth followed by large piece of fillet steak. Hold head vertically and pour pint of water down throat to wash pill down.

14. Get spouse to drive you to emergency room; sit quietly while doctor stitches fingers and forearm, and removes pill remnants from right eye. Also, be quite still for your tetanus shot before beginning your 10-day regimen of antibiotics (MfM). Stop by furniture shop on way home to order new table.

15. Arrange for vet to make a house call.


9 posted on 06/22/2012 3:12:03 AM PDT by carriage_hill (All libs & most dems think that life is just a sponge bath, with a happy ending.)
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To: knarf
I ordinarilly don't make fun of how a person looks ... certainly not now, as I age and fall apart myself ... but ...

There's just sumthin' about this guy that ....

I know what you mean.
He looks like he has TOXOPLASMOSIS!

But it's not just him, there are more and more studies showing that it modifies human behavior. The first studies I had seen were done in Asia.

10 posted on 06/22/2012 3:13:45 AM PDT by Bon mots ("When seconds count, the police are just minutes away...")
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To: Bon mots

Does it give you bad hair, too?


11 posted on 06/22/2012 3:15:17 AM PDT by Ken H
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To: Bon mots

It’s the Zombie parasite.

http://www.zombiehub.com/zombie-parasite.html


12 posted on 06/22/2012 3:20:46 AM PDT by 109ACS (If this be Treason, then make the most of it. Patrick Henry, May 1765)
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To: GOP Poet

Article on Toxoplasmosis in Science Daily



ECONOMIST Article on Toxoplasmosis and new evidence that it affects human behavior



Increased incidence of traffic accidents for military drivers infected with toxoplasmosis


National Institute of Health article


13 posted on 06/22/2012 3:21:33 AM PDT by Bon mots ("When seconds count, the police are just minutes away...")
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To: Bon mots


Could tiny organisms carried by house cats be creeping into our brains, causing everything from car wrecks to schizophrenia?




14 posted on 06/22/2012 3:23:54 AM PDT by ari-freedom
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To: Bon mots
He looks like he has TOXOPLASMOSIS!
It's the first thing I thought when I saw this picture of him.

But seriously, I think there's something to this. I read this and it seems plausible to me.

15 posted on 06/22/2012 3:24:21 AM PDT by samtheman (If we want Obamugabe out, we must vote him out.)
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To: Bon mots

Now we know how the term “Crazy Cat Lady” came into use.


16 posted on 06/22/2012 3:27:10 AM PDT by 109ACS (If this be Treason, then make the most of it. Patrick Henry, May 1765)
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To: samtheman
But seriously, I think there's something to this. I read this and it seems plausible to me.

I cannot find the original studies that alerted me to this, but they were done in Asia - at least the ones that I remembered. I went to search for them to send them to a doctor friend who does not speak good English and found this..

"The Economist" article is well worth reading. Also shows that the story is going mainstream and is not just some nutty theory. Quite a number of serious researchers and institutions are following up on this.

Good reason to eliminate feral cats without prejudice.

17 posted on 06/22/2012 3:32:08 AM PDT by Bon mots ("When seconds count, the police are just minutes away...")
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To: Bon mots
What he’s now discovering will startle you. Could tiny organisms carried by house cats be creeping into our brains, causing everything from car wrecks to schizophrenia?



18 posted on 06/22/2012 3:36:46 AM PDT by ari-freedom
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To: ari-freedom

LMAO! I’m sitting on a train reading that laughing my butt off and people are staring at me like I’m nuts. THaNKs A LOT


19 posted on 06/22/2012 3:37:18 AM PDT by GrandJediMasterYoda (Some day our schools will teach the difference between "lose" and "loose")
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To: Bon mots
Quit making fun of me or you'll pay

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Shot at 2008-03-06

20 posted on 06/22/2012 3:40:38 AM PDT by GeorgiaDawg32 (This tagline for rent. Contact GeorgiaDawg32 for pricing and excellent financing options.)
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To: samtheman

Microbiologist explains "Toxo" (Toxoplasmosis).

21 posted on 06/22/2012 3:42:03 AM PDT by Bon mots ("When seconds count, the police are just minutes away...")
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To: knarf

I hate to admit it, but I agree— that guy was born crazy.


22 posted on 06/22/2012 3:42:24 AM PDT by gusopol3
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To: samtheman

Bizarre Human Brain Parasite Alters Fear


23 posted on 06/22/2012 3:44:38 AM PDT by Bon mots ("When seconds count, the police are just minutes away...")
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To: GreatMan

Ping


24 posted on 06/22/2012 3:46:43 AM PDT by GreatMan
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To: Ken H
Does it give you bad hair, too?

I'm afraid so.
See my Post #21.

25 posted on 06/22/2012 3:47:07 AM PDT by Bon mots ("When seconds count, the police are just minutes away...")
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To: Bon mots


26 posted on 06/22/2012 3:49:57 AM PDT by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet - Mater tua caligas exercitus gerit ;-{)
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To: carriage_hill
1. Pick cat up and cradle it in the crook of your left arm as if holding a baby. Position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cat’s mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand. As cat opens mouth, pop pill into mouth. Allow cat to close mouth and swallow. [ . . . ]
15. Arrange for vet to make a house call.

Or . . . put pill inside medium size chunk of cooked white chicken breast meat. Yell, "Food for kitty!" and throw cicken chunk in the air. Kitty catches and eats meat, including pill. Method devised by Mrs. Sivana and thousands of other clever wives.
27 posted on 06/22/2012 3:50:08 AM PDT by Dr. Sivana ("You forget, it isn't who you claim, but instead, who claims you. We don't claim you!")
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To: Bon mots
Ah, yes. The cats infect you with Toxoplasmosis, and the next thing you know, you keep feeding the little beasts. And scooping their litterboxes. And spending megadollars on vet visits.

Oh, the humanity of it all.

Seriously... not all cats have it, and it's not really an issue for people who have kept cats for prolonged periods of time.

The most common mode of transmission of toxoplasmosis is through consumption of undercooked meat. So far, the studies of the effects of toxoplasmis on human behavior are inconclusive. The claim by Jaroslav Flegr that toxoplasmosis infections specifically cause people to have car accidents (that is, above the rate at which any illness predisposes people to not drive well) is not supported by data.

28 posted on 06/22/2012 3:50:08 AM PDT by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: Bon mots

My dog tells me all the time that cats are evil and the spawn of satan. So I am not surprised.


29 posted on 06/22/2012 3:55:15 AM PDT by st.eqed
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To: Bon mots

That is an amazing video. Thanks for posting it. My first thought was “this guy would be more credible if he shaved his stupid Kaczynski-looking beard”, but then I just settled in and listened, and though I still think he’d probably be a more credible human in general if he got rid of that hideous thing, his discussion of how the parasite changes rat behavior is truly amazing.

Again, thanks for posting this.


30 posted on 06/22/2012 3:57:10 AM PDT by samtheman (If we want Obamugabe out, we must vote him out.)
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To: Bon mots


31 posted on 06/22/2012 3:57:27 AM PDT by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet - Mater tua caligas exercitus gerit ;-{)
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To: st.eqed
My dog tells me all the time that cats are evil and the spawn of satan.
Martha's been saying that on her TV show since the beginning.
32 posted on 06/22/2012 4:00:47 AM PDT by samtheman (If we want Obamugabe out, we must vote him out.)
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To: 109ACS


33 posted on 06/22/2012 4:01:44 AM PDT by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet - Mater tua caligas exercitus gerit ;-{)
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To: knarf

>> There’s just sumthin’ about this guy that ....

He *does* have that Crazy Cat Man look, doesn’t he?


34 posted on 06/22/2012 4:02:08 AM PDT by Nervous Tick (Trust in God, but row away from the rocks!)
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To: Bon mots

>> I cannot find the original studies that alerted me to this, but they were done in Asia

Oh, come on. They don’t *have* cats in Asia (except in the “chicken” chow mein...)

:-)


35 posted on 06/22/2012 4:05:00 AM PDT by Nervous Tick (Trust in God, but row away from the rocks!)
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To: Bon mots

>> Mood altering parasite makes women more friendly and men into jerks.

Just wonderful. Now Mrs. Tick is going to be *utterly convinced* that our kitty gave toxoplasmosis to both of us.


36 posted on 06/22/2012 4:06:44 AM PDT by Nervous Tick (Trust in God, but row away from the rocks!)
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To: Bon mots

Interesting video...the guy lets out a really good fart @ :30 seconds in.


37 posted on 06/22/2012 4:12:41 AM PDT by Tainan (Cogito, ergo conservatus sum)
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To: knarf

Last time I saw a head like that was on Star Trek.


38 posted on 06/22/2012 4:16:09 AM PDT by Tainan (Cogito, ergo conservatus sum)
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To: Bon mots

Yes, he looks like a Rowling House Elf, and yes, he does have toxoplasmosis.


39 posted on 06/22/2012 4:38:33 AM PDT by dangus
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To: Tainan

The fart is a punctuation mark for his thoughts on free will, which are all negative. It’s interesting how behavioral scientists are so dismissive of the concept of free will. Are they so stupid as to miss the logical conclusion of that dismissiveness, that if there is no free will then none of their own ideas are freely chosen thoughts but are instead mere puppet-prattle that they are engaging in without any thought at all?

It’s always struck me that arguments against free will are always arguments in favor of the proposition that the person making that argument is a mindless automaton repeating something handed down to him by some random (or directed) source.

None of which takes away from the interesting story he tells of his research with rats, research that is obviously conducted by free-will-wielding humans.


40 posted on 06/22/2012 4:39:49 AM PDT by samtheman (If we want Obamugabe out, we must vote him out.)
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To: JoeProBono

lol


41 posted on 06/22/2012 4:43:24 AM PDT by Yardstick
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To: Bon mots

42 posted on 06/22/2012 4:47:08 AM PDT by Liberty Valance (Keep a simple manner for a happy life :o)
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To: Bon mots

Bump for later reading


43 posted on 06/22/2012 4:47:53 AM PDT by IrishPennant (Are you behind a "Blade of Grass?")
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To: Bon mots

44 posted on 06/22/2012 4:52:04 AM PDT by Liberty Valance (Keep a simple manner for a happy life :o)
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To: Dr. Sivana

Good idea! Though, I’ve tried just that with my 2 cats, but they sniff it, smell the medicine, turn-up their noses, look at me - WTF! - and just walk away. Brats.


45 posted on 06/22/2012 5:05:35 AM PDT by carriage_hill (All libs & most dems think that life is just a sponge bath, with a happy ending.)
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To: Bon mots

I don’t even want to know what’s in those bottles on the shelves behind him.


46 posted on 06/22/2012 5:07:14 AM PDT by carriage_hill (All libs & most dems think that life is just a sponge bath, with a happy ending.)
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To: carriage_hill

“Whatever you do, DON’T try to give one of them a pill!”

LOL.... I made the mistake of trying to give our big Tom Cat an injection while he was sitting on my lap.... ouch was an understatement! My leg was torn to shreds!

I learned, wrap them in a blanket or beach towel first. Their skin is the toughest thing I ever injected. Worse than any other animal I’ve given shots.

My veterinary friend jokes that the life expectancy of my farm cats goes to zero if the vet cost is more than $2. to keep them alive!


47 posted on 06/22/2012 5:16:14 AM PDT by tired&retired
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To: carriage_hill

16. Clean and bandage slashed, bloody arms and face.


48 posted on 06/22/2012 5:17:29 AM PDT by Twinkie (Isaiah 53)
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To: exDemMom

“The most common mode of transmission of toxoplasmosis is through consumption of undercooked meat.”

Now I know why the Chinese restaurant cuts their meat in little pieces and puts it in stir fries!


49 posted on 06/22/2012 5:18:42 AM PDT by tired&retired
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To: carriage_hill
I don’t even want to know what’s in those bottles on the shelves behind him.

Seeing as how he is into the study of human parasites, they appear to be a collection of parasitic organisms. I think I can identify Guinea Worm and a TapeWorm.

Guinea Worm is a particularly nasty affliction... you drink infected water and the long, slimy white worms burst out of the skin on your leg and must be slowly extracted over days by winding them around a stick until they finally pop out.

PICTURES of Guinea Worm - NOT for the squeamish..."

Once a Guinea worm begins emerging, the first step is to do a controlled submersion of the affected area in a bucket of water. This causes the worm to discharge many of its larva, making it less infectious.

The water is then discarded on the ground far away from any water source. Submersion results in subjective relief of the burning sensation and makes subsequent extraction of the worm easier. To extract the worm, a person must wrap the live worm around a piece of gauze or a stick. The process can be long, taking anywhere from hours to months. Gently massaging the area around the blister can help loosen the worm up a bit.

This is nearly the same treatment that is noted in the famous ancient Egyptian medical text, the Ebers papyrus from 1550 BC. Some people have said that extracting a Guinea worm feels like the afflicted area is on fire. However, if the infection is identified before an ulcer forms, the worm can also be surgically removed by a trained doctor in a medical facility.

50 posted on 06/22/2012 5:30:16 AM PDT by Bon mots ("When seconds count, the police are just minutes away...")
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