March 13, 2009
Toxoplasmosis linked to schizophrenia
British scientists say toxoplasmosis parasite may trigger the development of schizophrenia and bipolar disorders.
The team from the University of Leeds shows the parasite may play a role in the development of the disorders by affecting the production of dopamine -- the chemical that relays messages in the brain controlling aspects of movement, cognition and behavior.
Toxoplasmosis changes some of the chemical messages in the brain, and these changes can have an enormous effect on behavior, study leader Dr. Glenn McConkey said in a statement.
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.