Can a cat parasite control your mind?

Can a cat parasite control your mind?

“Most people don’t even recognize they have mild flu-like symptoms when they initially become infected. It’s more concerning if you’re pregnant because it can harm the unborn child, but most infected individuals don’t exhibit any health problems or outward signs of the disease “Markus Fitza, whose research has focused on how the parasite can affect business decisions, is a professor of strategy and entrepreneurship at the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management in Germany.

But the narrative doesn’t end there. In the great scheme of things, “the basics of the human brain are quite similar to that of a mouse,” he told Live Science.

In other words, just as an infected mouse is more daring, so too is an infected person more likely to take chances, sometimes with rather disastrous results. Persons who test positive for Toxoplasma gondii antibodies are more likely to be involved in an automobile accident, according to at least two studies, one of which examined 370 people in Turkey and the other which examined almost 600 people in the Czech Republic. There isn’t much data to support why and how latent toxoplasmosis infections could change people’s personality, such as making them less risk-averse. The parasite is thought to leave behind lifelong cysts in the brain, which is thought to increase the production of dopamine (a chemical messenger in the brain that is known to affect people’s risk and reward calculations), and that may have a role to play, according to the researchers behind the car crash studies.

Rage issues are also related to xenoplasmosis. Intermittent Explosive Disorder, or IED, patients were twice as likely to be diagnosed with toxoplasmosis as healthy persons without a mental diagnosis.

However, it’s interesting to note that a diminished fear of danger could also be beneficial. According to Fitza’s own research, entrepreneurs have a higher risk of infection than the general population and tend to earn $6,000 more annually on average than those who are parasite-free. In one research, he and colleagues at a prestigious American institution administered tests to over 1,500 biology and business students. The findings revealed that students majoring in business were 1.4 times more likely than biology majors to test positive for the parasite, and within business majors, students specializing in entrepreneurship were 1.7 times more likely than those in less risky business studies subspecialties to test positive.

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197 professionals who were attending entrepreneurial programs and events were also assessed by Fitza. He discovered that 124 of them were parasite-infected. Only four out of the 73 non-infected persons who attended the same events as the 124 professionals had established their own firm. Although his sample size was tiny, the results have been confirmed by more recent, substantial research. According to the current thinking, Toxoplasma gondii tricks people’s brains into feeling less anxious about leaving their employment and going it alone to found their own business. Fitza stated, “We can’t say with certainty that this is what’s happening. But this is the claim we are making in light of our research.

According to a 2019 research published in the journal mBio, Toxoplasma gondii may cause inflammation in mouse brains, which may then alter behavior and function of the brain in rodents. This inflammation may be caused by the parasite secreting chemicals that rewire the brain in some way.

However, toxoplasmosis patients are not mindless automatons obeying the parasite’s commands. Making human conduct riskier when in humans serves no purpose for the parasite; any impacts are only a byproduct of the parasite’s beneficial manipulation of the mouse brain. But if you have cats and you’re driving your automobile to a prospective business opportunity, be aware of that considering that the parasite may cause certain behavioral changes in people.

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