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http://www.livescience.com/othernews/060803_tgondii_culture.html

See also Home Page story.

This is very interesting:

"Oxford scientists discovered that the minds of the infected rats have been subtly altered. In a series of experiments, they demonstrated that healthy rats will prudently avoid areas that have been doused with cat urine. In fact, when scientists test anti-anxiety drugs on rats, they use a whiff of cat urine to induce neurochemical panic.

However, it turns out that Toxoplasma gondii -ridden rats show no such reaction. In fact, some of the infected rats actually seek out the cat urine-marked areas again and again. The parasite alters the mind (and thus the behavior) of the rat for its own benefit.

If the parasite can alter rat behavior, does it have any effect on humans?

Dr. E. Fuller Torrey (Associate Director for Laboratory Research at the Stanley Medical Research Institute) noticed links between Toxoplasma gondii and schizophrenia in human beings, approximately three billion of whom are infected with T. gondii:

- Toxoplasma gondii infection is associated with damage to astrocytes, glial cells which surround and support neurons. Schizophrenia is also associated with damage to astrocytes.

- Pregnant women with high levels of antibodies to Toxoplasma are more likely to give birth to children who will develop schizophrenia.

- Human cells raised in petri dishes, and infected with Toxoplasma, will respond to drugs like haloperidol; the growth of the parasite stops. Haloperidol is an antipsychotic, used to treat schizophrenia.


Dr. Torrey got together with the Oxford scientists, to see if anything could be done about those parasite-controlled rats that were driven to hang around cat urine-soaked corners (waiting for cats). According to a recent press release, haloperidol restores the rat's healthy fear of cat urine. In fact, antipsychotic drugs were as effective as pyrimethamine, a drug that specifically eliminates Toxoplasma."


---------------------

Parasites affecting host behaviour is more common than you might imagine. Three examples:

1. The lancet fluke Dicrocoelium dendriticum forces its ant host to attach to the tips of grass blades, the easier to be eaten. The fluke needs to get into the gut of a grazing animal to complete its life cycle.

2. The fluke Euhaplorchis californiensis causes fish to shimmy and jump so wading birds will grab them and eat them, for the same reason.

3. Hairworms, which live inside grasshoppers, sabotage the grasshopper's central nervous system, forcing them to jump into pools of water, drowning themselves. Hairworms then swim away from their hapless hosts to continue their life cycle.

Blacknad.

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Interesting ... though mostly because I read this at least a decade ago. Its news again?


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this is verry interesting.

so the grasshopper just jumps into the water and drowns himself un-bewised of why he does this!!

and the rat hangs around in cat urine covered places waiting for a cat to come along and eat him.

I wonder what parasite is/might be involved in the inability for humans to develope inteligence?

ie...

the inappropriate use of the "LAWS OF PHYSICS" and even the use of the word "LAW".

has there ever been a law that hasnt been broken?
if the "LAWS OF PHYSICS" cant be broken then they are not (laws) they are (knowns).

perhaps it is a parasite that keeps people from using things that would improve their environment such as the use of free energy vs pollutants.


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I think my ex-girlfriend was infected with that parasite; she never cleaned the litter box.

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Hi Blacknad:

This brings up another apparently unrelated topic that concerns me. What are usually discribed as nice people go over the edge and commit rape and murder and other unlikely crimes. This frequently appears to be extremely out side the persons normal behavior. I felt for years, with no proof whatever, based only that some people with no stress still developed stomach ulcers, that there was a bug involved and it turned out to be true. The main premise for me is that the sweet heart guy is not a murderer under normal conditions.

Like your rats and bugs suppose that some itty bitty thing invaded humans and it thrived on our emotional output and response causing "normal" people to engage in horendous acts to create that high emotional response that the bitty thrived on. Far out you may feel with justification but life tells me there is a reason for everything and we should always be looking for it. Is anyone immune?
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Charles Whitman had a cancerous tumor in his brain when he wrote this:

"I don't quite understand what it is that compels me to type this letter. Perhaps it is to leave some vague reason for the actions I have recently performed. I don't really understand myself these days. I am supposed to be an average reasonable and intelligent young man. However, lately (I can't recall when it started) I have been a victim of many unusual and irrational thoughts"

Afterwords he went out and killed 15 people including his wife and mother.

Perhaps there are parasite's and various other things which can affect that region of the brain.

Of course I've had a few unusual and irrational thoughts in my day, never acted on them though. Is there a certain part of the brain that is strictly involved in making decisions?

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Parts not part and yes.

I used to live next door to one of the world's foremost brain surgeons and he used to only half-joke that he could remove the vowels or the consenants from someone's vocabulary.

Half joke ... because he had, in fact, done so at least once.

Those interested can look up: Dr. George Ojemann.


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in ancient egypt cats were worshiped along with owls and several other animals.

perhaps there is more to this than we think.

I had a cat once that seemed to be in dissagreement with the choices of clothes I bought and the type of car I drive.

sometimes the cat would even seem to dislike some types of tv programs I watched , I remember when lassie was on the cat would get figity ond scratch me repeatedly trying to get attention

and believe it or not the cat even refused to even enter the kitchen when the trash can was slightly full , I had to empty the trash 3 - 4 times daily.

I sometimes would become so frustrated at the kittys behavior that I would rasie my voice at him and he would get mad at me and leave for weeks at a time. but he would always come back around the feeding times.


I wonder if the cats parasites simply ensure that the cats are fed properly?


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no. the answer is that cats and dogs give unconditional love. They dont complain about the choises of cloths you buy or the type of car you drive. They dont complain about the type or tv you watch or if you need to take out the garbage. you can yell at them and a little while later they will come back to see if you not mad anymore. after that, its gone for good. If you want to call that parasitical, then go ahead, but that would also apply to many humans as well.


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I've never felt any kind of love from a cat. It just isn't love when you have to go around cleaning up someone else's urine and feces. It must be a parasite...it must!

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have you never held one and heard its purr? have you never seen one that will not let anyone save you touch it?


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hmmmmm.


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meow..meow...meow..


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You must be super patient Paul.

"and believe it or not the cat even refused to even enter the kitchen when the trash can was slightly full , I had to empty the trash 3 - 4 times daily."

I think I would throw out the cat and leave the trash for later.
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I wanted to bring this subject back up as it was the original subject that brought me to this site.
It seems reasonable to believe that through our millions of years of evolution, other "things" have evolved with us. I am of the opinion that things such as night terrors ( waking up in a panic, with your heart racing) might also be the result of a similar parasitic infestation. I imagine that our distant evolutional ancestors developed a symbiosis with organisms that may also use, say adrenaline, as a source of food. This would be beneficial to both, as the host could use the adrenaline to escape from predators, and the organism could use it up and help the host get rid of it when it was no longer needed, ( too much adrenaline , or for too long , might kill the host).
However, millions of years later, the only way these organisms can get "fed" is to excite the areas of the hosts brain that would elicit the desired response. Of course other survival stradegies could have also developed (the propensity to engage in dangerous activities, etc) and the extent to what kind of form they could take is an interesting question.
For example; if anger and narrow-mindedness are personal qualities which might lead one to actions that elevate a persons adrenaline level, then is the "cure" for that conflict, dialog and discussion, or is it an "antibiotic" for the infestation.
To put it another way; sometimes I wonder if the solution to something like the Middle East might be the the study and innoculation against such organisms that might be able to cloud a rational minds thinking, for it's own purposes.

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I wouldn't be surprised if those in the Middle East are in some manner mentally damaged. Other cultures, European, Asian seem far better able to cope with reality.

I often find it hard to fathom that there are specific cultures that seem to thrive on attitudes and behaviours that are nothing but self-destructive. Witness, for example, the number of time Yassar Arafat (not to pick on the Palestinians but it is a poignant example )damaged himself and his people and their cause. And yet still they supported him and continue doing what we all know will not work.


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Witness, for example, the number of time George Bush (not to pick on the Americans but it is a poignant example )damaged himself and his people and their cause. And yet still they supported him and continue doing what we all know will not work [in Iraq].

smile

Blacknad.


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They did ... they don't any more.

History, including American history, will judge Bush and Cheney very harshly.

Everyone can be misled for some finite period of time. When we talk about the Middle East we are talking about people who have made a career out of repeating things proven to not work.

Lets consider Northern Ireland.
Lets consider the Basque Separatists too.

These things will pass.

And still the Middle East will be soaked in fratricidal blood.


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Because all sides and their supporters still believe myths proved long ago to be only loosely based on history.

Last edited by terrytnewzealand; 04/19/07 01:17 AM.

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