Context between cat feces and female suicide determined: data from 45,000 Danish women analyzed
For some time now, researchers have suspected a connection between the parasite Toxoplasma gondii in cat feces and schizophrenia, as well as other behavioral problems. A new study, in which the data from 45,000 Danish women were evaluated, now seems to confirm the suspicion.
Significant increase in toxoplasmosis in high-force suicide attempts Women with toxoplasmosis may have a significantly increased risk of suicide attempts. This emerges from a new study that was published in the magazine "Archives of General Psychiatry". Accordingly, women who had been infected with the parasite Toxoplasma gondii found in cat faeces were twice as likely to attempt suicide. The increase was particularly significant in suicide attempts involving a high level of violence.
"We cannot say with certainty that T. gondii caused women to attempt suicide," said University of Maryland scientist Teodor Postolache. "But we found an obvious connection between the infection and later suicide attempts." Further studies are already being planned.
Experts believe that around a third of people become infected with Toxoplasma gondii during their lifetime. Most often, the disease is not noticed due to its unremarkable course. However, those affected form antibodies in the blood. According to the study, the risk of suicide increases with the level of antibodies.
Toxin plasmosis can cause fetal malformations. Toxoplasmosis is an infectious disease that is transmitted by parasites and is common worldwide. Affected people usually become infected by eating insufficiently heated meat from infected animals or by touching an infected cat or feces. This can cause infection even in dust form and after a long time. Healthy people usually do not show symptoms of toxoplasmosis. In very rare cases, complaints such as mild fever, swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck area, fatigue as well as body aches and headaches occur. The course of the disease is usually latent, so no treatment is required. However, toxoplasmosis poses great risks for fetuses. An untreated infection can lead to permanent malformations and damage. A blood test gives pregnant women information about a possible infection with toxoplasmosis. If there is an infection, treatment with medication for at least four weeks follows, which is usually successful. (ag)
Successful therapy against toxoplasmosis