For years, people with cats have been warned about the potential for contracting the parasite Toxoplasma gondii from their pets — a parasite that has infected about a third of all people, and has already been linked to neurosis and schizophrenia, among other things, says LiveScience's Charles Q. Choi. Now, researchers from the US Geological Survey have found a correlation between Toxoplasma and brain cancer. In their study, published in Biology Letters, the researchers found that adult brain cancers were more common in countries where Toxoplasma infection rates were high. The researchers caution, however, that they haven't shown that Toxoplasma causes brain cancer, and say their results don't mean that a third of humans will get brain cancer, but hope that their results inspire other researchers to look for a causative link between the parasite and disease, Choi says. Also, there's really no need to get rid of your cat, he adds — just wash your hands and don't eat undercooked meat.
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