A new study published this week in a scientific journal says that women who are infected by a parasite spread through cat feces have a higher risk of suicide. The study involved over 45,000 women from Denmark.
The senior author of the study, Teodor Postolache, from the medical school at the University of Maryland said the results could not say with 100% certainty that the T. gondii caused women to attempt suicide, but he said predictive association was found – being infected with the parasite and attempting suicide at a later time in life.
Nearly one out of every three people around the world is thought to be infected by T. gondii, which has links to schizophrenia and other behavioral changes, but many times does not produce any symptoms, as it remains in the muscle and brain cells.
Humans are at risk of being infected when they clean the cat litter box of their cats, as well as when they ingest unwashed vegetables, raw or undercooked meat and water that was received from a source that was contaminated.
The recent study found that the women who were infected with T. gondii were over 150% more apt to try and kill themselves in comparison to women who did not have the infection. The risk of suicide seemed to increase when the levels of the parasite antibodies in the body increased.