Cats are adorable creatures. Yes, they can be feisty and a handful at times but still they are adorable. Kids and cats don’t get along well at all times. But if your cat or kid/s are used to the company of each other for sure they will get along just fine. In many cases, they will become best of friends which is a good thing because you don’t want them to despise each other. But a recent study is warning parents that having a cat or cats in the house can make kids stupid. Well, before you raise your brows let me share to you the important details of the study.
University of Iowa and Florida International University researchers conducted a study and found out that a common parasite found in cats is associated with poor memory and low learning skills in children that are in school-ages. The common parasite that’s responsible is no other than T. gondii or (Toxoplasma Gondii) which infects about 1/3 of the world’s population. T. gondii is transferred from felines to humans through contact with the animal’s feces. Researchers conducted a survey in children that are 12 to 16 years old. Participants’ memory and reading skills were tested. They were also tested for T. gondii infection. Some people that are infected with the parasite don’t feel any symptoms while others get really sick especially those who have weak immune system like young kids and the elderly. T. gondii is usually found in the brain and muscles of the infected person. The parasite is also linked to some behavioral problems.
In a statement researchers said, “The results suggest that Toxoplasma gondii seropositivity is associated with poor reading performance and impaired verbal memory.” But this doesn’t mean that kids that are infected with T. gondii don’t have a choice but become stupid. Researchers also found out that ‘serum Vitamin E’ seems to help in modifying the parasite’s effect on a child’s memory. They discovered that participants who have lower Vitamin E level had greater T. gondii-related memory impairment. However, the efficacy of Vitamin E still needs to be studied furthermore which involves quite a few trials.
Image via wilderdom at Flickr.com