Studies show that an infection with the pathogen Toxoplasma gondii can impair the working memory of the elderly (1). Every second German carries the pathogen in himself. Toxoplasmosis is known above all in connection with the health risks during pregnancy and for immunosuppressed persons. But how is the effect on the memory capacity of the elderly explained? The parasite only reproduces in the bowels of cats. The parasite eggs get into foreign organisms through the cat’s excrement, for example to birds or mice. To again come back into the original host, the pathogen reduces the avoidance behavior of the intermediary host, as already shown in earlier studies. This means: A mouse which is infected with Toxoplasmosis consequently regards cats as harmless and is eaten faster. The parasite has achieved its goal and is again with the original host. An insidious trick which also influences the memory capacity of infected people. This apparently comes from an imbalance of Dopamine and Norepinephrine caused by the infection. In follow-up studies the connection between dementia and Toxoplasmosis should now be carefully examined.

  1. Gajewski, Patrick; Falkenstein, Michael; Hengstler, Jan ; Golka, Klaus (2016): Reduced ERPs and theta oscillations underlie working memory deficits in Toxoplasma gondii infected seniors. Biological Psychology, 120 (2016), 35-45. Doi: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2016.08.002 unter


A Exclusive Translated Article for OIRF Supporters
From THE BRIDGE Newsletter of OIRF
Published March 2017

From the “Panorama View” section of:
Naturheilpraxis, 01/2017, Volume 70, January 2017
Translated by Carolyn L. Winsor, OIRF
© Naturheilpraxis, January 2017

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