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Cats are linked to human suicides

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Posted

Cats causing suicide?

Oct 10, 2012 8:41 AM EDT

A recent study in Denmark implicates an infection spread by cats in causing humans to feel suicidal.

The infection is called toxoplasmosis. It is caused by a parasite found, among other places, in the GI tracts of cats. Therefore, contact with cat feces when emptying a cat's litter box is one way humans can get it. Other ways include eating undercooked meat.

We have known for some time that toxoplasma antibodies (proof of exposure to the parasite) seem to be elevated in patients with schizophrenia.

Now, the Dutch study has found an increased rate of suicide attempts in those with the infection. The study, which looked at 45,000 pregnant women in five counties in Denmark found that 27 percent of them showed antibodies to toxoplasma.

Among that 27 percent (as opposed to the other 73 percent of women), self-destructive violence was more common by about 50 percent. And the higher the antibodies to toxoplasm (presumably showing a more significant exposure), the greater the risk. Those with the highest level of antibodies were at almost 100 percent higher risk for self-harm.

The actual completed suicide rate was over twice as high in women who had been exposed to toxoplasma as those who had not. Since the total number of suicides was only 18 in the population of 45,000, absolute conclusions are tough to draw, but more experiments should certainly be conducted.

One reason toxoplasma could trigger severe psychiatric symptoms-including suicidal ideation-is that it causes inflammation in the central nervous system, raising the levels of inflammatory compounds like interleukin-6. Those inflammatory compounds may be neurotoxic.

For now, my guidance for patients who have owned or cared for cats is to consider toxoplasma as potentially playing a role in thoughts of self-harm, which don't seem to be treatable with standard medications and psychotherapy. In such cases, going to see a physician who specializes in infectious disease, armed with your concern about toxoplasma, would be a reasonable step.

Treatment of the infection isn't without side effects. But, if your psychiatrist and infectious disease doctor agree, going forward with treatment may make sense as one part of an overall strategy to ward off self-destructive impulses.

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Posted

My cat keeps whispering in my ear: "Jump ... jump .... jump now."

And same type article posted in July:

Study links cat litter box to increased suicide risk

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Posted

Yea so the love of ***** is a fatal thing. lol

OK now explain why those women with a house full of cats don't kill themselves?

Warning: touching remixedcat can kill you :p

My cat keeps whispering in my ear: "Jump ... jump .... jump now."

lol

Wait, Hum why are you standing naked on a ledge anyway? :o

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Posted

Yeah, Remixed...how many people have you killed thus far?

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Posted

toxoplamosis is something interesting, there some evidence suggesting it affects women on some level to pay more attention to their looks and more likely to have more than one partner.

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Posted

So...what they are saying is that people in Denmark don't wash their hands after emptying the cat litter box :huh:

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Posted

Other ways include eating undercooked meat.

So this story could also be "Eating Steak Rare Linked to Human Suicides", but then we couldn't make fun of the cat people.

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Posted

While my cat says jump my dog says stay. Since I don't know what to do I do nothing.

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Posted

Like the sensationalistic title.

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Posted

I would expect nothing less from cats.

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Posted

undercooked meat ... could also mean we have to cook our kitties a little longer ...

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Posted

Only being a heart breaker...

And it was about 196 ppl.. eager to meet my quota..

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Posted

Sounds deadly...

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Posted

I always wash my hands twice with anti-bacterial soap after emptying my cat's litter box.

Come to think of it - this might be why my cats use it so much - to get me to empty it more, so I get confused if I washed my hands or not and then kill myself because I forgot. IT'S A CONSPIRACY!

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Posted

wow these studies are ran by miserable people that don't like happy things.... first coffee, now cats, damn....

they can go eat GMO veggies in a concrete box in 110 degree weather listening to country music while wearing rough wool sweaters and never to touch another being again. oh and to have to work on printers non stop forever,

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Posted

yeah... doesn't make sense. when i'm around my cat (or even my ex's cat) I'm happy.

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Posted

Only being a heart breaker... And it was about 196 ppl.. eager to meet my quota..

Is it weird that I thought about you when I read this article? :p

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Posted

Is it weird that I thought about you when I read this article? :p

LOL yeah... but I am THE CAT

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Posted

Being infected from meat is far, far more likely than getting infected by your cat unless your cat regularly goes outside and kills/eats rats. Knowing this, always think twice before feeding your cats ratatouille one more time.

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Posted

FYI: the CDC puts the rate of US persons aged 12-49 with antibodies to T. gondi at about 15%.

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Posted

also you would have to be eating the cat's nuggets from the cat box in order to really get infected.... and I hope there aren't that many people eating that or the world is an even scarier place....

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Posted

What if you have cat and a dog? :wacko:

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Posted

It's because Cats are vermin ad should be culled to be honest, unless they are on a lead at all times.

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Posted

also you would have to be eating the cat's nuggets from the cat box in order to really get infected.... and I hope there aren't that many people eating that or the world is an even scarier place....

Mmm......kitty nuggets

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