Toxoplasma Infection Increases Risk Of Schizophrenia
Science Daily (Jan. 16, 2008) — Findings from what is believed to be the largest comparison of blood samples collected from healthy individuals and people with schizophrenia suggest that infection with the common Toxoplasma gondii parasite, carried by cats and farm animals, may increase the risk of schizophrenia.
The protozoan was first discovered by Nicolle & Manceaux, who in 1908 isolated it from the African rodent Ctenodactylusgundi, then in 1909 differentiated the disease from Leishmania and named it Toxoplasma gondii. The first recorded congenital case was not until 1923, and the first adult case not until 1940. In 1948, a serological dye test was created by Sabin & Feldman, which is now the standard basis for diagnostic tests.
Notable people With Toxoplasma (from Wikipedia)
- Arthur Ashe (tennis player) developed neurological problems from toxoplasmosis (and was later found to be HIV-positive).
- Merritt Butrick (actor) was H.I.V positive. Died from toxoplasmosis as a result of his already weakened immune system.
- Prince François, Count of Clermont (pretender to the Throne of France); his disability has caused him to be overlooked in the line of succession.
- Leslie Ash (actress) contracted toxoplasmosis in the second month of pregnancy.
- Sebastian Coe (British middle distance runner)
- Martina Navrátilová (tennis player) retired from a competition in 1982 with symptoms of a mystery ‘virus’ that were later found to be due to toxoplasmosis.
- Louis Wain (artist) was famous for painting cats; he later developed schizophrenia, which some believe was due to toxoplasmosis resulting from his prolonged exposure to cats.