Pet Theory: Do Cats Cause Schizophrenia?

Pet Theory: Do Cats Cause Schizophrenia?
Stephen Mihm, Lingua Franca
‘I think cats are great,’ says E. Fuller Torrey. But Torrey is not
your typical cat lover, writes Stephen Mihm in Lingua
Franca.
This Maryland psychiatry professor and mental
health researcher believes that Felis domestica may carry
infectious diseases that could cause schizophrenia and bipolar
disorder. ‘Torrey often speaks in a self-deprecating manner of his
‘delusional’ notions,’ Mihm writes. ‘But he’s dead serious about
the cat connection. He thinks ‘typhoid tabbies’ are passing along
Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite that causes brain lesions and,
if Torrey is right, schizophrenia.’ When Torrey first proposed the
idea, more than 30 years ago, he was considered a crackpot. But an
evolution in scientific thinking about infectious diseases may
prove him right. ‘My wife thinks I’m going to be assassinated by
cat owners,’ he sighs.
–Leif
Utne
Go there>>

UTNE
UTNE
In-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.