...But of these sophisms and elenchs of merchandise I skill not...
Milton, Areopagitica

Except he had found the
standing sea-rock that even this last
Temptation breaks on; quieter than death but lovelier; peace
that quiets the desire even of praising it.

Jeffers, Meditation On Saviors



There's a long-standing literature that absolutely shows there's a statistical link between Toxo infection and schizophrenia. It's not a big link, but it's solidly there. Schizophrenics have higher than expected rates of having been infected with Toxo, and not particularly the case for other related parasites. Links between schizophrenia and mothers who had house cats during pregnancy. There's a whole literature on that.
Two really interesting things. Back to dopamine and the tyrosine hydroxylase gene that Toxo somehow ripped off from mammals, which allows it to make more dopamine. Dopamine levels are too high in schizophrenia. That's the leading suggestion of what schizophrenia is about neurochemically. You take Toxo-infected rodents and their brains have elevated levels of dopamine. Final deal is, and this came from Webster's group, you take a rat who's been Toxo-infected and is now at the state where it would find cat urine to be attractive, and you give it drugs that block dopamine receptors, the drugs that are used to treat schizophrenics, and it stops being attracted to the cat urine. There is some schizophrenia connection here with this.
   Any time Toxo's picked up in the media, and this schizophrenia angle is brought in, the irresistible angle is the generic crazy cat lady, you know, living in the apartment with 43 cats and their detritus. And that's an irresistible one in terms of Toxo psychiatric status: cats. But God knows what stuff is lurking there.
Robert Sapolsky/edge
via synthetic zero
Desperately, various attempts were made to treat, diagnose or ''cure'' Lucia Joyce. During her first, unwilling incarceration (engineered by Giorgio) in a French sanitarium in 1932, she was said to be suffering from ''hebephrenic psychosis'' (the young person's version of what Kraepelin had defined as dementia praecox). Then she was placed under a disciple of Bleuler at the Burgholz psychiatric clinic in Zurich, where schizophrenia was diagnosed. She was treated by a Dr. Forel, who recommended ''persuasion'' and surveillance. She was analyzed by Jung, who thought her so bound up with her father's psychic system that analysis could not be successful. His colleague Cary Baynes diagnosed repression. Friends of the Joyces -- Maria Jolas, Mary Colum, the heroically well-behaved Harriet Weaver, Joyce's married sister Eileen -- all tried to look after Lucia, in London or Paris or Ireland, more or less disastrously. Her treatments included injections with sea water and animal serum, barbiturates and solitary confinement.
A FIRE IN THE BRAIN: The difficulties of being James Joyce’s daughter
Joan Acocella/New Yorker
via arlindo-correia

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