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Toxoplasma gondii infection linked to increased risk of "self-directed violence" in women

A recent study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry has shown a strong link between Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) infections (toxoplasmosis) in women and an increased risk of self-directed violence and suicide.

Teodor T. Postolache, MD — one of the paper’s authors — is quoted by Forbes as saying: > We can’t say with certainty that T. gondii caused the women to try to kill themselves, but we did find a predictive association between the infection and suicide attempts later in life that warrants additional studies. We plan to continue our research into this possible connection.

T. gondii has previously been shown to cause behavioural changes in its hosts — infected rodents, in particular, are less fearful of cats — and has been linked to psychiatric conditions in humans such as depression, anxiety and schizophrenia.

Further Reading:

Reed Kraft-Murphy

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