Research suggests that having cats at an early age increases the risk of developing schizophrenia

Research suggests that having cats at an early age increases the risk of developing schizophrenia

Scientists made new revisions to an old study and discovered that people who have… the cats At home they are more likely to develop schizophrenia. Thus, Australian researchers analyzed 17 academic works carried out over the past 44 years in 11 different countries to reach this conclusion.

This idea, which links cats to the disease, was first proposed in a 1995 paper, due to exposure to the parasite called Toxoplasma gondii, which is the proposed cause of the appearance of this type of disease. However, the final conclusions were mixed.

Can cats be a cause of schizophrenia?

Despite the results obtained in some academic works, not all studies conducted have found a truly consistent relationship. Therefore, animals cannot be blamed for the onset of the disease with 100% certainty.

“We found an association between broadly defined cat ownership and increased odds of developing schizophrenia-related disorders,” wrote psychiatrist John McGrath and other researchers, all from the Queensland Center for Mental Health Research.

To obtain more accurate results on the topic, the specialist and his team stress that it is necessary to conduct a complete analysis and review of the research conducted on this topic so far. Remember, Toxoplasma gondii is an almost harmless parasite that can be transmitted in other ways, such as eating undercooked meat or contaminated water.

Simple association with these microorganisms does not prove this the cats They are the main vectors of transmission to humans. As McGrath noted, after adjusting for variables, it was discovered that people exposed to cats were nearly twice as likely to develop schizophrenia.

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However, 15 of the 17 studies were case-control studies, which is not enough to prove cause and effect, because this method often does not include elements that can affect both exposure and outcome.

Furthermore, some of the surveys analyzed were of questionable quality and provided inconsistent conclusions. Finally, the majority of researchers agreed that more research is necessary so that we can draw a more definitive overview of the topic. the cats.

John McGrath said: “Further high-quality studies, based on large, representative samples, are needed to better understand cat ownership as a candidate factor for modifying the risk of mental disorders.”

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About the Author: Camelia Kirk

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