I have this pet theory that toxoplasmosis, though “non-symptomatic” in many cases, actually sets the stage for the brain to begin rewiring itself for more individualism(or insanity). Similar to how infected rats become “braver” and so easier for cats to catch.

@aRandomCat I have similar theory. Still trying to figure out if T gondii is causing high testosterone, attracted to those with high, or a mix of both. It acts like computer viruses who patch up infection vector it used.

I find it fascinating that when it doesn't kill babies thru immune system issues, it has a high chance of making them blind.

Strange links between that and schizophrenia, tesosterone levels, and dopamine.

Genetic, environmental (microbiome?), or both?

@aRandomCat The strange way that it operates on the opioid system as well as its impacts on the liver and inflammation factors makes me think that it has a different response in different people.

Lots of recent work on it suggets that it may have 'symptoms' that we simply aren't aware of.

The thing basically eats testosterone and GABA, reducing anxiety (and affect risk tolerance as a result), and upregulating dopamine as body responds by pumping out more testosterone.

@aRandomCat That would 'set the stage' for a number of different issues to manifest in someone at risk for various neurosis.

A bout of stress -> down regulating the microbiome/immune system a bit? would lock in a viscous cycle that would allow the infection to invade more aggressively. Otherwise it sits there waiting in it's cyst form.

@ultimape amazing info o.0 The bit about the effect on testosterone/gaba is especially intriguing.

There might be a lot of interplay with age too. Like how 3 legged animals run very “naturally” if they’re born that way. An early infected brain may make interesting kinds of music if it’s early enough that the brain considers it just another instrument.

@aRandomCat Bears have been shown to be infected with T Gondii, but strangely only the older bears. In females, it seem to boost testosterone and also change the duration of their hibernation. I think its some kind of meta regulatory effect.

T Gondii is everywhere!

(that video is going straight into my happy list)

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