Friday, February 19, 2010

The Possible Link Between Cats and Schizophrenia

While cats were loyal companions to pharaohs during ancient Egyptian times, they were not domesticated and were free to roam the land. Prior to the 18th century, schizophrenia was a rare disease. However, when cats become more domesticated in the late 18th century, there was a sharp increase in the incidence rate of schizophrenia. Recently, 2 separate studies have established a link between schizophrenia and having a pet cat. In one study, of the 165 schizophrenics screened, 51% said they had a cat as a child. In a different study, 52% of schizophrenics reported having a childhood cat. While researchers do not know if the cats of these schizophrenics were the host of toxoplasmosis, the connection between owning a cat and developing schizophrenia cannot be ignored. Additionally, researchers found that toxoplasmosis and schizophrenia are highly uncommon in areas with no felines. While researchers are still investigating the link between cats infected with toxoplasmosis and schizophrenia, more data is continually being published linking the two. To read more about the relationship between infected cats and schizophrenia, visit Link 1 and Link 2.

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