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:3/15/2016)... -- Yissum Research Development Company of the Hebrew ... Hebrew University, announced today the formation of Neteera ... human biological indicators. Neteera Technologies has completed its first ... ... emissions from sweat ducts, enables reliable and speedy biometric ...
(Date:3/10/2016)... India , March 10, 2016 ... a new market research report "Identity and Access Management ... & Audit, Compliance, and Governance), by Organization Size, by ... to 2020", published by MarketsandMarkets, The market is estimated ... USD 12.78 Billion by 2020, at a Compound Annual ...
(Date:3/8/2016)... , March 8, 2016   Valencell ... technology, today announced it has secured $11M in ... GII Tech, a new venture fund being launched ... additional participation from existing investors TDF Ventures and ... funds to continue its triple-digit growth and accelerate ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/20/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 20, 2016 , ... Korean researchers ... that it may offer a new way to treat the disease. Surviving Mesothelioma has ... now. , Scientists from several Korean institutions based their mesothelioma study on the ...
(Date:5/19/2016)... Ashland, Virginia (PRWEB) , ... May 19, 2016 , ... ... a new 30,000 square foot office building is complete. The new structure adds a ... In 2011, Anton Paar USA purchased 2.4 acres of land, along with ...
(Date:5/19/2016)... -- There is no saying when exactly ... pressures in pricing and lack in consumer confidence. One ... - numerous opportunities are up for grabs but this ... four names in this sector: Portola Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ... VTAE ), Anthera Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ...
(Date:5/19/2016)... May 19, 2016 ... (OTC PINK: RGBPP) announced today initiation of a ... cord blood based cancer immunotherapeutic product leveraging its ... Regen described a generation of cord blood derived ... gene silencing.  The product in development will be ...
Breaking Biology Technology: