Saturday 30 May 2015

THE CAT'S ZOMBIES: Feline Parasite Controls Human Behaviour Causing SUCIDE, Risk Taking & PSYCHOSIS

Is your cat making you crazy?

Cat Owners… 
Did you know that there is a  feline parasite that can make us take unnecessary risks and could even cause psychosis???
Up to 4 billion people are unknowingly infected.
Has the zombie apocalypse started???

Feline parasite 'can cause schizophrenia in humans'
If the Toxoplasma microbe 'takes over' the human brain a person will become less risk-averse and see more conflict as  part of 'circle of life' for parasite
Are we becoming Zombies controlled by our cats? Not exactly but New Scientist magazine asks us to:  "IMAGINE there were a parasite living in your brain – an alien interloper with the power to alter your neurochemistry, manipulate your behaviour and change the way others see you. It might even rob you of your sanity. You are not the only person affected. The creature has taken up residence in the brains of billions of people, and many more are at risk. This is not fiction. This mind-snatcher actually exists"

Parasites passed from cats could be causing schizophrenia in their owners, a scientist has claimed. Jaroslav Flegr says has come to the conclusion because he himself believes he is a living example. He says he has been infected by the parasite and it has altered his behaviour over a period of time.

The parasite, which is excreted by cats in their faeces, is called Toxoplasma gondii and is the microbe that causes toxoplasmosis - the reason pregnant women are told to avoid cats’ litter boxes. Since the 1920s, doctors have recognised that a woman who becomes infected during pregnancy can transmit the disease to the foetus, resulting in severe brain damage in the baby - or even death.

In adults the disease causes flu-like symptoms - and those with a suppressed immune system can become seriously ill with complications such as encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) - but many carrying the latent disease and appear to have no symptoms. However the Toxoplasma gondii parasite is only able to reproduce in a cat's gut. So once  it is inside a host, the parasite then needs to get back into the cat, as that is the only place where it can sexually reproduce. Flegr believes, this is why the infection is making subtle changes to the human brain to manipulate the host's behaviour.
Toxoplasma gondii life cycle

But from his own experience the Czech scientist, 63, claims that over the past two decades his personality has been changing, leading him to behave in strange, often self-destructive ways. 'I wondered what was wrong with myself, ' Flegr recently told The Atlantic magazine how he started thinking about his own theory almost 30 years ago after reading a book by the British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins. The book described how flatworms, to help spread the species, are able to take over an ant's body by infecting their nervous system. This then alters the ant's behaviour such that a drop in temperature that would normally force the insect underground, sees it instead climb to the top of a blade of grass and clamp its jaws down on it.The ant is then eaten by grazing sheep and the flatworm's life cycle continues in the animal's gut.He has shown this is similar for the Toxoplasmosis parasite in cats.

After an infected cat defecates, Flegr learned, the parasite is typically picked up from the soil by scavenging or grazing animals - such as rodents, pigs and cattle- all of which then harbour it in their brain and other body tissues. Humans are exposed not only by coming into contact with litter boxes, but also, Flegr found, by drinking water contaminated with cat faeces, eating unwashed vegetables, or, especially in Europe, by consuming raw or undercooked meat. The French, according to Flegr, with their love of raw steak can have infection rates as high as 55 per cent, compared with 10 to 20 per cent of the UK population and 22 per cent of the US population who are estimated to carry the parasite as cysts. Flegr says he then began to notice similarities between his behaviour and that of the reckless ant. For example, he says, he thought nothing of crossing a busy road, 'and if cars honked at me, I didn’t jump out of the way', he told The Atlantic. He says he also refused to hide his contempt for the Communists who ruled Czechoslovakia for most of his early adulthood. 'It was very risky to openly speak your mind at that time,' he says. 'I was lucky I wasn’t imprisoned.' And during time he spent in eastern Turkey, he says he was able to stay 'very calm' during gunfire, while 'my colleagues were terrified. I wondered what was wrong with myself'. He believes that large numbers of humans could be similarly afflicted with toxoplasmosis, and that it explains reckless behaviour in many humans. He says those infected with the parasite are, for example, at greater risk of traffic accidents.

His claims come after a study at Leeds University showed the parasite affects the production of dopamine - the chemical that carries messages in the brain controlling aspects of movement, cognition and behaviour - thus triggering schizophrenia and other bipolar disorders.The parasite infects the brain by forming a cyst within its cells and produces an enzyme called tyrosine hydroxylase, which is needed to make dopamine. Dopamine’s role in mood, sociability, attention, motivation and sleep patterns are well documented. Dopamine is the target of all schizophrenia drugs on the market. Individuals with schizophrenia are also more likely to report a clinical history of toxoplasmosis than those in the general population, other studies have shown. Dr Glenn McConkey, lead researcher on the Leeds University project says: '...our studies will provide a clue to how toxoplasmosis infection - which is more common than you might think – can impact on the development of the condition in some individuals. 'In addition, the ability of the parasite to make dopamine implies a potential link with other neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s Disease, Tourette’s syndrome and attention deficit disorders.'

'We’d like to extend our research to look at this possibility more closely.' It is unclear why the parasite has chosen humans as a host. The effect on rodents, however, is more obvious.The toxoplasma parasite affects rats in a similar way to humans. In studies, infected rodents were much more active in running wheels than uninfected ones, suggesting they would be more attractive targets for cats, which are drawn to fast-moving objects. They also were less wary of predators in exposed spaces, Flegr says. And may actual act in an antagonistic way to cats that results in them being caught and eaten so that the parasite is reabsorbed onto the cast gut. This apparently "crazy" behaviour by rodents makes them more easily caught by cats and the parasite can continue its life cycle. 

Similar findings suggested the parasite makes rats less scared of - and indeed almost attracted to cats. It may be going to far to suggest that all people who are attracted to cats are infected with toxoplasmosis but when attraction turns to unhealthy obsession this could be the case. Joanne Webster, a parasitologist at Imperial College London, also suggest rats would be likely targets for behavioural manipulation from a a parasite that can only thrive in cats. She treated one corner of each rat’s enclosure with the animal’s own odour, a second with water, a third with cat urine, and the last corner with the urine of a rabbit, a creature that does not prey on rodents. 'We thought the parasite might reduce the rats’ aversion to cat odour,' she told me. 'Not only did it do that, but it actually increased their attraction. They spent more time in the cat-treated areas.'

Separate studies have linked the parasite to increased rates of suicide in vulnerable people, according to Teodor Postolache, a psychiatrist and the director of the Mood and Anxiety Program at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He looked at a raft of studies that included investigations of general populations as well as groups made up of patients with bipolar disorder, severe depression, and schizophrenia, and in places as diverse as Turkey, Germany, and the Baltimore/Washington area in the U.S.
Treatment: If you're diagnosed with toxoplasmosis, your GP will recommend the most appropriate treatment for you. This will depend on your health and symptoms. You may be prescribed a combination of pyrimethamine and sulfadiazine, or a medication called azithromycin, which is given on its own.

The toxoplasma gondii parasites need vitamin B to live. Pyrimethamine stops toxoplasma from getting vitamin B. Sulfadiazine prevents the parasites from using it. The normal dosage of these drugs is 50 to 75 mg of pyrimethamine with 2 to 4 grams per day of sulfadiazine. 

These drugs both interfere with vitamin B and can cause anaemia. People with toxoplasmosis usually take leucovorin, a form of vitamin B9 (folic acid) to prevent anaemia. 

This combination of drugs is very effective against toxoplasmosis. Over 80% of people show improvement within 2 to 3 weeks but it usually returns after the first episode if the immune system is not boosted enough to produce antibodies against it.
Natural therapists recommend strengthening the immune system to treat  Toxoplasma infections as they are especially difficult to treat because they recur and are never eliminated from the system. Natural remedies that can help fight off this parasite are essential plant oils listed below and a healthy nutritious diet of root and leafy vegetables, fruits, seeds, herbs, spices and oily fish as well as probiotic foods, whey, cottage cheese and fish oils
    •    coconut oil
    •    croton cajucara oil
    •    garlic oil
    •    goldenseal
    •    horsetail oil extracted from the root
    •    Oregon grape root
    •    oregano oil
    •    radishes especially daikon
    •    restharrow oil extracted from the roots
    •    sea salt (pure unrefined)

Personally, I prefer any of the natural anti-parasite herbs especially wormwood and mugwort. Absinthe was originally brewed as a medicine to ride the body of parasites. Seed kernels high in b17 (Apricot & Apple etc.) were traditionally used by Vets for difficult parasite infestations in animals up until three decades ago.

So if you are a cat owner it would be a great idea to include these substances as part of your regular diet as prevention is better than cure.

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Sunday 17 May 2015

Magick Brings Joy - It is the Mundane Life that is Tedious & Joyless -

Magick Brings Joy

Magick is Happening everywhere and there’s a lot of it too...

I was sad to see a joyless academic text, by someone who spends time in the Australian Pagan community, that claimed that magick and the Pagan community, was only a passing trend because of movies like The Craft, Practical Magic and Harry Potter. I am happy to say that these movies came out 10 years ago, but the Pagan community is still here getting bigger and stronger.

Sure, groups come and go, form and then become formless, but there are more of them. And more individuals in the census claiming that their belief system is one of many forms of Paganism. Fashions, cell phones and social media are things that ‘trend’ and go (sorry Myspace) but Magick endures. Magick never faltered - Magick always led. Magick is a basic human need that has been around as long as mankind, that pervades EVERY belief system. The study of the science magick continues on to this day and is growing stronger and it keeps me very busy here and overseas. It keeps many of my friends and peers racing from place to place too and we hardly get a chance to see each other. Yet when someone needs something we make ourselves available. Magickal practitioners are there for others during the sorrows and the joys of life. Ceremonies are required not only for the turning of the wheel of the year but also for the turning of life. Ceremonies need to be performed for birth and deaths. For weddings and heartbreak. For children starting school and leaving home. To create work and to recover from loss of employment. For post traumatic stress after war or victimisation and sometimes for mental illness. However, it is also for the times when there are no dramas and we are just immersed in joy and are grateful to the vast magickal universe that allows us to be living on the jewel of a world at this most interesting time. 

Magick brings Joy. It is the mundane life that is tedious and joyless. 

Magickal practitioners help people return to their joy - 
Now that is Magick!

So if I seem a bit slow getting the magazine out, please don't feel neglected... Know that I am busy helping someone somewhere- just as you are too...
And together, the more people we help with magick the more magickal we will make the world.

You are in my thoughts and heart always, that is why I go to all this trouble of producing this magazine. It is for you. Every joy to you.
Shé D’Montford  - Editor

PS: The next issue of Magick Magazine should be arriving in your mailboxes within the next 2 week - Enjoy!