Psychosis may be associated with toxoplasmosis

Med Hypotheses. 2009 Nov;73(5):799-801. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2009.04.013. Epub 2009 May 20.


Many parasites induce characteristic changes in their host. The effect of Toxoplasma gondii infection on the cerebrum and neuropsychiatric patients has been increasingly emphasized in recent years. T. gondii has a high affinity for brain tissue where tachyzoites may form tissue cysts and persist for a life long time. Some psychiatric symptoms such as schizophrenia and mental retardation may be induced by the infection of T. gondii. Furthermore, experiments demonstrated that some antipsychotics and mood stabilizers used to treat psychosis displayed the function of inhibiting T. gondii replication. Investigations from various regions in China in psychotic patients support the hypotheses that psychosis may be linked to T. gondii infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antipsychotic Agents / pharmacology
  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use
  • China
  • Humans
  • Psychotic Disorders / complications*
  • Psychotic Disorders / drug therapy
  • Toxoplasma / drug effects
  • Toxoplasma / growth & development
  • Toxoplasmosis, Cerebral / complications*
  • Toxoplasmosis, Cerebral / parasitology


  • Antipsychotic Agents