Parasite at the wheel
Infection with Toxoplasma gondii is considered relatively harmless for most people. But there is some evidence that the protozoa affects the brain and makes it more susceptible to neuropsychiatric disorders.
Let's make it short and sweet: It's not unlikely that you have a parasite in your brain. It got into your body unnoticed and is now hiding in your nerve cells, among other places. The intruder, Toxoplasma gondii, should be familiar to many parents - if pregnant women become infected, it poses a risk to the unborn child. Infection in the first trimester of pregnancy can cause miscarriage or birth defects. If it occurs later, this leads to consequential damage such as deafness or epilepsy in some children. The pathogen is also dangerous for people with immunodeficiency, such as AIDS.
In addition, the protozoa can trigger a latent disease. Almost unnoticed, it penetrates the central nervous system and then persists there for decades. There are slowly increasing indications that even in this dormant form he is anything but harmless. It may even be able to permanently alter its host's behavior, thinking, and personality.
T. gondii is one of the most successful parasites worldwide. According to current estimates, almost a third of humanity carries the microorganism. In some regions of Africa it is up to 90 percent of the population, in Brazil 80 percent and in Germany around 50 percent…