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  • The Puppet Masters

    Posted by Michael Hiteshew on February 10th, 2006 (All posts by )

    This is fascinating. It is truly a bizarre universe we inhabit.


    4 Responses to “The Puppet Masters”

    1. Shannon Love Says:

      The link between schizophrenia and Toxoplasma is interesting but I doubt it is whole story. It is highly likely that schizophrenia is less a disease per se but is more of symptom. Just as many diseases, toxins and injuries provoke a fever, it is likely that schizophrenia is the manifestation of a generalized failure of mental organization that could spring from several different causes.

    2. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      I was most fascinated with the the way parasites alter the psychology of their hosts for their benefit. The rats no longer fearing cat urine scent, for example. I was interested in the speculations in the comments that this could explain the unnatural attachment some people have for cats, the “cat lady” phenomenon, where a woman has 50 cats in her house and is oblivious to the damaging effects on her life. Is this a result of the parasite altering her psychology?

      How many other neurosies can be traced to parasitic infections in our brains? Do diseases in general alter our psychology in ways we don’t understand? Ways that help promulgate the disease? The natural selection idea would cetainly indicate that were true.

      (Read comment #68)

    3. Ginny Says:

      Well, Michael, I’ve always firmly believed that cats suck the breath out of us when we are asleep. On the rare & unpleasant occasions when I’ve been sleeping in a house with a cat, I’ve awakened to find it standing above my head. The doctor may say it is allergies but probably she & my cat-loving friends have been taken over by these nasty little parasites. I’m waiting for the conclusive evidence from these studies to be able to say I told you so.

    4. Mitch Says:

      “I, for one, welcome our new feline overlords!”

      Now I have to go out in the 15″ of new snow and get more tuna.