Road Rage Caused by Parasites from Your Cat?
Mind altering parasites sound straight out of science fiction right? Well, they are quite real and your cat may be helping them!
Toxoplasma gondii (T gondii), a protozoan parasite, is already known to change the behavior of mice it infects by making them appear bolder in the face of cat predators, thus completing the parasites life cycle when the cat ingests the mouse.
Humans can become infected via their feline companions, with no physical sickness, but small cysts form in the brain and are linked to bi-polar disorder, schizophrenia, and suicide. In a new study another human disorder called Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED), is now being linked with T gondii infection. Three groups of humans, one control, one with IED (think road rage), and one with no diagnosed psychiatric disorder were examined. More than half of the IED group had T gondii and across all three groups T gondii infection was prevalent in those who tested higher for aggression. So next time you find your self honking at another driver you may want to consider getting tested for parasites!