Tuesday, July 3, 2012


http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com - A common parasite that is found in the cat litter box may cause undetected brain changes in women that make them more prone to suicide, a new study has revealed. The study involving more than 45,000 women in Denmark reported that women infected with the Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) parasite, which is spread through contact with cat faeces or eating undercooked meat or unwashed vegetables, are at increased risk of attempting suicide. The infection called toxoplasmosis, has been linked to various mental illness, such as schizophrenia, and changes in behaviour. 
"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," study's senior author Doctor Teodor Postolache says. Doctor Albert Reece, vice president of medical affairs at the University of Maryland, said that T. gondii infection is a major public health problem around the world, and many people don't realize they're infected. The parasite is particularly dangerous for pregnant women, who can transmit the parasite to their child. Women are advised to avoid cat litter while pregnant.

The study is the largest ever of T. gondii and attempted suicide and the first prospective study to document suicide attempts that occurred after the infection was discovered. The T. gondii parasite flourishes in the intestines of cats, and it is spread through cysts passed in their faeces. All warm-blooded animals can get infected through ingestion of these cysts. The organism spreads to their brain and muscles, hiding from the immune system within "cysts" inside the cells.
Humans can get infected by changing their infected cats' litter boxes, eating unwashed vegetables, drinking water from a contaminated source, or more commonly, by eating undercooked or raw meat that is infested with cysts. Not washing kitchen knives after preparing raw meat before handling another food item also can lead to infection. The scientists scoured Danish health registries to determine if any of these women later attempted suicide - attempts which may have involved guns, sharp instruments and jumping from high places - and they found that women infected with T. gondii were one and a half times more likely to attempt suicide compared to those who were not infected, and the risk seemed to rise with increasing levels of the T. gondii antibodies.
Women who have cats are at a higher risk for suicide that those without cats, according to a new study. The parasite Toxoplasma gondii lives in cat feces, undercooked meat and unwashed vegetables and some women infected with it are much more likely to commit suicide. The study only showed a correlation, not causation, between the infection and suicide attempts, but it could not determine the cause of the suicidal behaviour. The real reason for suicide is the lack of spiritual understanding that help people to transcend life's adversities.

Suicide cases highlight the gross imbalance in material and spiritual values in contemporary society. When people lack spiritual knowledge, they naturally live for worldly goals. Their entire sense of identity and self-worth comes from the pursuit and achievement of materialistic aims such as wealth, sensual pleasure, possessions and positions. 
This narrow-minded definition of success in terms of material achievements lies at the root of suicidal thought. Why? Because people pursuing such goals will sooner or later be confronted with a situation where they will fail to gain or fear the failure to gain what they crave for. And similarly those who possess these things will be faced with situations where they lose or fear to lose what they live for. In such situations people become so identity-less and purpose-less that they feel life not worth living. And destroying one’s very existence appears to be the only escape. ... How can spirituality help in such a situation? The Bhagavad-Gita (14.4) helps us understand our eternal identity as spiritual beings, beloved children of God.

Śrīpad Chaitanya Charan das :
"The Spiritual Scientist"
"Suicide - Why? What to Do?"

Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"

No comments: