The suspected link between having a cat and schizophrenia could be real: Study

We know that there are a lot of suspected theories around the world but it is also true that most of them turn out to either be just theories or it is also possible that they turn out to be inaccurate. One such theory was that if you owned a cat then it was seen that many of them had schizophrenia later in their life which suggested that there could be a link between these two things. While most of the cat owners dismissed this as just being a theory, a new study suggests that this might not be as dismissive as it seems. This research was published by the journal Schizophrenia Bulletin.

“Our findings support an association between cat exposure and an increased risk of broadly defined schizophrenia-related disorders,” the study says. The research team added that “We found that individuals exposed to cats had approximately twice the odds of developing schizophrenia,” According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, The illness can cause troubling symptoms such as hearing voices, having trouble thinking clearly and relating to others. It typically starts suddenly in a person’s late teens or early adulthood. It is also worth noting that “Schizophrenia is a complex mental illness that often runs in families”. Also, the problem is that “Schizophrenia can be managed with medicine and supportive therapy, but there’s no known cure for it.” WHO estimates that every one in 300 people around the world have Schizophrenia which means that it is not as rare as we think it is.

As per the report, “The idea that cat ownership could be linked to schizophrenia risk isn’t new and was first proposed in a 1995 study. That report suggested exposure to a parasite called Toxoplasma gondii could be the cause. The parasite is believed to enter a person’s body through a cat’s bite or contact with its bodily fluids or feces. It can also be ingested through contaminated water or undercooked meat. It’s estimated that about 40 million people in the US may be infected with T. gondii, usually without any symptoms. However, the parasite can infiltrate the central nervous system and influence neurotransmitters”.

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