A new study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry suggests that consuming undercooked meat is linked to Intermittent Explosive Disorder due to exposure to toxoplasma gondii—a parasite that, after initial infection, lies dormant in human brains. While it was previously believed that the parasite’s dormant stage (called toxoplasmosis) had no physical effects, new research shows that the bug alters human brain chemistry, causing people to become more aggressive, reckless, and suicidal. According to UK news outlet The Daily Mail, a broader look at the range of scientific studies about this parasite shows that it directs humans to act in potentially fatal self-destructive ways in order to transfer to its preferred hosts—domesticated and wild cats—the only animal in which it can reproduce. A number of previous studies have linked toxoplasmosis to brain inflammation, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. University of London professor Joanne Webster revealed that “it is likely that, with more research, people will find toxoplasmosis is involved with more psychiatric conditions.”
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