Dailybhaskar.com | Last Modified - Dec 08, 2012, 04:46 PM IST
Of all the things that you thought could control you, cat poop literally would never have crossed your mind.
Researchers have found a parasite present in domestic cats, which acts like a mind-control drug and rewires a part of the brain turning the affected person frightened or horny.
Toxoplasma gondii a parasite found in domestic cats can get inside the human brain, through animal feces. The parasite infects the dendritic white blood cells of the immune system causing them to secrete a chemical neurotransmitter that allows the infected cells and the parasite to cross the natural barrier protecting the brain.
The parasite has subtle behavioral influences. Infected individuals are more likely to attempt suicide. Its infection may also increase risk of brain cancer and schizophrenia.
The parasite grows in rodents but to get inside cats it alters the rodent’s mind in a way that it gets attracted towards cat urine. After which the rat becomes cat food and the parasite is passed onto the cat’s body. People can get it from undercooked meat or from cats.
The CDC has estimated that that more than 60 million Americans carry the parasite.
Cat lovers scared?
Photo courtesy: http://dunnadam.blogspot.in