Navigation Links
Research supports toxoplasmosis link to schizophrenia
Date:3/11/2009

Scientists have discovered how the toxoplasmosis parasite may trigger the development of schizophrenia and other bipolar disorders.

The team from the University of Leeds' Faculty of Biological Sciences (UK) has shown that the parasite may play a role in the development of these disorders by affecting the production of dopamine - the chemical that relays messages in the brain controlling aspects of movement, cognition and behaviour.

Toxoplasmosis, which is transmitted via cat faeces (found on unwashed vegetables) and raw or undercooked infected meat, is relatively common, with 10-20% of the UK population and 22% of the US population estimated to carry the parasite as cysts. Most people with the parasite are healthy, but for those who are immune-suppressed - and particularly for pregnant women - there are significant health risks that can occasionally be fatal.

Dr Glenn McConkey, lead researcher on the project, says: "Toxoplasmosis changes some of the chemical messages in the brain, and these changes can have an enormous effect on behaviour. Studies have shown there is a direct statistical link between incidences of schizophrenia and toxoplasmosis infection and our study is the first step in discovering why there is this link."

The parasite infects the brain by forming a cyst within its cells and produces an enzyme called tyrosine hydroxylase, which is needed to make dopamine. Dopamine's role in mood, sociability, attention, motivation and sleep patterns are well documented and schizophrenia has long been associated with dopamine, which is the target of all schizophrenia drugs on the market.

The team has recently received $250,000 (160,000) to progress its research from the US-based Stanley Medical Research Institute, which focuses on mental health conditions and has a particular emphasis on bipolar illnesses.

Dr McConkey says: "It's highly unlikely that we will find one definitive trigger for schizophrenia as there are many factors involved, but our studies will provide a clue to how toxoplasmosis infection - which is more common than you might think can impact on the development of the condition in some individuals.

"In addition, the ability of the parasite to make dopamine implies a potential link with other neurological conditions such as Parkinson's Disease, Tourette's syndrome and attention deficit disorders, says Dr McConkey. "We'd like to extend our research to look at this possibility more closely."


'/>"/>

Contact: Jo Kelly
jokelly@campuspr.co.uk
44-113-258-9880
University of Leeds
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Research shows skeleton to be endocrine organ
2. Newly created cancer stem cells could aid breast cancer research
3. Dominant cholesterol-metabolism ideas challenged by new research
4. Researchers identify proteins involved in new neurodegenerative syndrome
5. Texas researchers and educators head for Antarctica
6. MGH researchers describe new way to identify, evolve novel enzymes
7. University of Pennsylvania researchers develop formula to gauge risk of disease clusters
8. University of Oregon researcher finds that on waters surface, nitric acid is not so tough
9. U of MN researchers discover noninvasive diagnostic tool for brain diseases
10. U of Minnesota researchers discover noninvasive diagnostic tool for brain diseases
11. Story ideas from the Journal of Lipid Research
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Research supports toxoplasmosis link to schizophrenia
(Date:5/16/2017)...  Veratad Technologies, LLC ( www.veratad.com ), an innovative ... verification solutions, announced today they will participate as a ... thru May 17, 2017, in Washington D.C.,s ... Identity impacts the lives of billions ... evolving digital world, defining identity is critical to nearly ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... a global expert in SoC-based imaging and computing solutions, has developed ... the company,s hybrid codec technology. A demonstration utilizing TeraFaces ® , ... showcased during the upcoming Medtec Japan at Tokyo Big Sight April ... Vegas Convention Center April 24-27. ... Click here for an image of the M820 ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Global ... ... at a CAGR of 30.37% during the period 2017-2021. ... based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry experts. ... the coming years. The report also includes a discussion of the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/11/2017)... ... 11, 2017 , ... “There is an increasing consumer call ... synthetic ingredients,” said Matt Hundt, President of Third Wave Bioactives. “Combining the strong ... know-how of Biorigin will allow us to bring truly novel fermented ingredient technologies ...
(Date:8/10/2017)... ... August 09, 2017 , ... ... applications in the clinic is here. The team at Capricor Therapeutics, Inc. utilized ... medium for clinical studies. , Dr. Travis Antes, head of analytical development ...
(Date:8/10/2017)... USA (PRWEB) , ... August 09, 2017 , ... ... partnered with four international biomedical optics laboratories — the Wellman Center for Photomedicine, ... Medical Laser Center Lübeck and the Beckman Laser Institute at University of California, ...
(Date:8/10/2017)... ... August 10, 2017 , ... CNA Finance Chief Research Analyst, ... on Next Group Holdings, Inc. and see's significant opportunity in the company's plans ... cannot engage in traditional banking services. According to industry estimates, approximately 103 million ...
Breaking Biology Technology: