Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Is your cat giving you schizophrenia?

No. Note that barely half of the mentally ill persons in these studies had a cat during their childhoods. Data such as these are all it takes to add "having a cat during childhood" to the long, long list of "risk factors for schizophrenia." Having an infection of any kind (t. gondii or not) increases risk for genetically vulnerable individuals, as does head injury, birth complications, childhood hunger, etc.

Torrey & Yolken (2003), Emerging Infectious Diseases

"Epidemiologically, two studies have reported that adults who have schizophrenia or bipolar disorder had a greater exposure to cats in childhood. In one study, 84 (51%) of the 165 affected versus 65 (38%) of the 165 matched controls had owned a house cat in childhood (p = 0.02) (39). In the other study, 136 (52%) of the 262 affected versus 219 (42%) of the 522 matched controls owned a cat between birth and age 13 (odds ratio 1.53; p<0.007) (40)."

39. Torrey EF, Yolken RH. Could schizophrenia be a viral zoonosis transmitted from house cats? Schizophr Bull. 1995;21:16771.PubMed
40. Torrey EF, Rawlings R, Yolken RH. The antecedents of psychoses: a case-control study of selected risk factors. Schizophr Res. 2000;46:1723. DOI PubMed

1 comment:

  1. Neighbor's cat is giving my dog extreme prey drive reactivity.
    Not just that cat, pretty much everything.
    Got a veterinary behaviorist coming in.


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