Could a Parasite Really Cause Mental Illness?

Although it has historically been considered benign in mature human hosts, new research indicates that the parasitic microorganism, Toxoplasma gondii, may be linked to a whole host of mental illnesses including depression, schizophrenia, and bi-polar disorder.  It is thought that this parasite may interfere with the dopamine pathway in humans which can result in the aforementioned  mental illnesses.  The truly fascinating aspect of these dangerous little microorganisms is that they may have developed this technique for altering the behavior of their hosts in order to increase interaction with their preferred hosts, cats!  It is believed that this may have some connection to the “crazy cat lady” stereotype.

To learn more about these intriguing findings, click here!