40% of the UK population live with brain parasites that can affect their behavior

(ORDO NEWS) — Recent studies show that up to 40% of the population may be infected with toxoplasmosis, a type of brain parasite that can affect a person’s behavior.

According to John Webster, professor of epidemiology at Imperial College London, brain parasites are isolated and protected from the immune system. However, you should be aware that they can influence human behavior.

Toxoplasmosis is common in domestic cats. The aforementioned scientist estimates that about 350,000 British people are infected with the parasite every year. Czech scientist Jaroslav Flegrei believes that toxoplasmosis also leads to depression and suicide.

The parasite appears as microscopic cysts. Its presence has been found in two areas of the brain associated with fear and pleasure. Recent studies have shown that the DNA of toxoplasmosis includes two genes that increase the release of dopamine.

Mice infected with toxoplasmosis suddenly stopped responding to the smell of cat urine. Dopamine suppressed natural instincts. Scientists suggest that some unsafe car drivers may be carriers of a parasite that affects their driving style, making it more unpredictable and dangerous.

The problem of toxoplasmosis did not appear yesterday and has been known to mankind for thousands of years. In fact, we have learned to live with these protozoa, as have 40% of the UK population. The statistics in other countries are probably similar.

Now the most important thing seems to be a detailed understanding of how toxoplasmosis is able to manipulate its host, and the goal of the research work should be to create an antidote. This can be very important, because many disease syndromes can exist precisely because of the presence of a harmful parasite.


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