April 10, 2005

Pregnancy, Cats and Schizophrenia

Another research study has been published that supports the theory that the risk for developing schizophrenia can be increased if a pregnancy mother is exposed to the toxoplasmosis virus (commonly carried by cats).

The study noted that Individuals with schizophrenia were 2.42 times more likely than controls to have been exposed to high Toxoplasma levels.

This toxoplasmosis link to schizophrenia is a theory that Dr. E. Fuller Torrey initiated (I believe) over a decade ago - and the data supporting it continues to be published.

The key message here is that when a person is pregnant they should avoid cats (and not share a house with cats) - as well as other points that should be considered for schizophrenia prevention.

Study findings have shown that maternal exposure to toxoplasmosis may increase a child's risk of developing schizophrenia as an adult.

"Given that toxoplasmosis is a preventable infection, the findings… may have implications for reducing the incidence of schizophrenia," say Alan Brown (New York State Psychiatric Institute, USA) and colleagues.

Toxoplasmosis is known to adversely affect fetal brain development, the researchers examined the relationship between maternal antibody to toxoplasmosis and the risk of schizophrenia.

They note that toxoplasmosis is a potentially preventable infection, with standard obstetric practice recommending that pregnant women minimize their exposure to Toxoplasma, which includes the avoidance of cat feces and the ingestion of undercooked meat.

Thus, "these results may have implications for the prevention of schizophrenia," the team concludes.

Source: Am J Psychiatry 2005; 162: 767–773

More information: Avoiding Childhood Exposure to Cats with the the T. Gondi virus may reduce schizophrenia risk.

Pregnant Women's Exposure to Cats with the the T. Gondi virus may increase child's schizophrenia risk later in life

More information on other Schizophrenia Causes


Post a comment

Please enter this code to enable your comment -
Remember Me?
(you may use HTML tags for style)
* indicates required