Czech scientists: Cat parasites trigger schizophrenia

Scientist from the Prague Psychiatric Center have discovered that toxoplasmosis triggers the development of schizophrenia in people who have a genetic predisposition to the mental disorder. Toxoplasmosis, which causes changes in the grey matter of the brain leading to schizophrenia, is a parasitic disease most often transmitted by cats. Up to one third of the world's population is estimated to carry the parasite, which normally causes no symptoms in healthy humans. The Prague center’s professor Jiří Horáček will present the full findings of the study to the public on March 11, the European Day of the Brain. The idea of the link between toxoplasmosis and schizophrenia was first pioneered by Jaroslav Flegl, a professor at Prague’s Faculty of Science.

Author: Masha Volynsky