Sunday, November 13, 2005
The blog you are now reading is widely known for two qualities: 1) clear-headed, tough-minded, hard-nosed, gimlet-eyed, potty-mouthed perspicacity, and 2) a complete absence of cat photos (for, unlike most of our colleagues in the lefty blogging community, we have no use for the filthy little brutes). Do not assume for a moment that the two virtues are unrelated:
Dr. Fuller Torrey is studying whether a parasite in Fluffy's droppings causes schizophrenia, a mental illness that strikes 2.2 million Americans and is characterized by hallucinations, delusions and trouble regulating emotions.But Hodge shan't be shot: no, no, Hodge shall not be shot.
The Washington-area psychiatrist has found that people with schizophrenia were more likely to have had pet cats as young children, or their mothers kept the animals during their pregnancies. Torrey is now testing antibiotics against the feline parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, to treat schizophrenia, according to an article in the December issue of Esquire . . . .
Torrey, president of the Stanley Medical Research Institute, believes that ingesting or inhaling parasitic spores from cat waste causes schizophrenia. While hardly conventional wisdom, his theory is part of scientists' growing interest in the potential environmental influences on the development of mental illnesses, said Dr. Donna Anthony, clinical program director for psychotic disorders at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Westchester.