Meet toxoplasma gondii. Well actually, you probably don’t want to meet it. Toxoplasma is a parasite that can infect almost all warm blooded animals, humans included. It’s interesting because scientists have found an association between it and neurological disorders, namely schizophrenia. In one study, women with high levels of toxoplasma were more likely to give birth to schizophrenic babies. This is because toxoplasma is thought to affect behavior and neurotransmitter function. In fact, mice infected with this parasite became fearless and were attracted to cats (thus leading to their death) because toxoplasma affects brain regions responsible for fear. Pretty interesting isn’t it?. Check out this Scientific American article for more details.