This may not seem like great news to cat owners, but it may shed some light on those cat owners suffering with unexplained anxiety or have children that are autistic. The fact is, that the toxoplasma gondii parasite, commonly associated with cats, has been linked to generalized anxiety disorder and autism.
The Toxoplasma gondii’s eggs are present in cat feces, and one of the most common way people are infected with Toxoplasma gondii is through contact with an infected cat.
A study published in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity found that 500 participants with anxiety disorders had a past Toxoplasma gondii infection. The researchers found that a past Toxoplasma gondii infection was linked to generalized anxiety disorder. The authors concluded that these findings suggest that Toxoplasma gondii infection is “strongly and significantly” associated with GAD [generalized anxiety disorder]
As for autism, there is a body of evidence that the parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, may in fact be an underlining cause of autism and be worth ruling out. In the medical journal, Microbial Pathogenesis, a study from 2020 showed that toxoplasmosis plays an important role as a risk factor for autism.
Now that you’re aware of this information here’s something you might consider doing. If you haven’t had your cat tested for this parasite, especially if you’re one who’s experiencing anxiety or have a loved one who’s autistic, you might consider contacting your veterinarian first for the kitty, then your primary physician for you. Should you test “positive” and don’t know what your next step should be, please give us a call. We can help rid you of the parasite and restore “the best performance of your life!”