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Infection With Common Parasite Raises Schizophrenia Risk
Date:1/24/2008

of antiparasitic drugs to treat toxoplasma infection in schizophrenia patients can halt progression of the mental illness.

Most toxoplasma infections occur early in life through exposure to cat feces or undercooked beef or pork. Infections rarely cause symptoms, but the parasite remains in the body and can become active after being dormant for many years, according to background information in a news release about the study.

Most people infected with toxoplasma never develop schizophrenia, but the parasite may trigger the mental illness in people who are genetically predisposed to it, explained Yolken.

More information

Mental Health America has more about schizophrenia.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: Johns Hopkins Children's Center, news release, Jan. 18, 2008


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