Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Feline Link to Human Schizophrenia

From today's New York Daily News:

Dr. Fuller Torrey is studying whether a parasite in Fluffy's droppings causes schizophrenia, a mental illness that strikes 2.2 million Americans and is characterized by hallucinations, delusions and trouble regulating emotions . . .

Torrey, president of the Stanley Medical Research Institute, believes that swallowing or breathing parasitic spores from cat waste causes schizophrenia.

Great! This is all we need. Here's a new feline fairytale to scare people away from adopting homeless cats. I won't get into refuting the science here, but we all know there have been stories about cats harming babies and stealing the breath of children since the beginning of time. The bottom line is that cats do more to help one's mental health than anything else.


Wendy said...

Avram, I really doubt this study will show anything because of the epidemiology of schizophrenia. Basically, it is at a constant rate through all human populations and steady over time. That is not a pattern you would see due to infectious disease, especially in populations that don't keep cats as pets. He says he sees a link, but I am quite skeptical about it. Definitely, pregnant women are to avoid changing the litter box, that has been recommended for decades.

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