Neuro-parasitology which is one of the most emerging fields of sciences focuses on parasites that can control the neural system of their hosts. In short it studies the mind manipulating parasites. It provides the opportunity to learn how one species (the parasite) alters the neural network and consequently the behavior of another (the host). These parasite-host interactions, which have evolved over millions of years, provide unique tools for determining how neuromodulation up or down-regulates particular behaviors.
In some of the more remarkable manipulations, the parasite manipulates the cognitive functions of the host by tapping into the neural circuitries of the host’s brain. A few examples, such as crickets and other terrestrial insects commit suicide in water, allowing the parasite to escape into an aquatic environment that is conducive to its development.
Recently, both scientists and non-scientists have taken an extraordinary interest in the ability of parasites to affect the behaviour of their hosts. One reason is that parasites affect their host’s behaviour in a way that suggests they have taken over their ability to make decisions.
Does it happen that you “accidentally” damage stuff, strike corners, or get harmed while you’re in a hurry? You get into a foul mood for no apparent reason? It is assumed that this is caused by the operations of consciousness parasites. Parasites are the only term that adequately depicts the situation. You may use any name you choose.
Mind Manipulating Parasites
To exercise long-lasting behavioral control over the host, parasites should secrete chemicals that operate through secondary messengers and/or directly on genes, frequently altering gene expression to achieve enduring effects. Below, certain parasites that overtake the human mind are mentioned:
Toxoplasma gondii is the most well-known and controversial neurological parasite on the list. This microscopic protozoan resembles little more than a blob, yet once it reaches the brain, it may drastically alter the behavior of its hosts. Tachyzoites travel into the muscles, eyes, and brains of their hosts, where they can hide for decades without doing much damage. However, when the time is right, the T. gondii tachyzoites modify the brain chemistry of their hosts.
T. gondii does not hibernate exclusively in rats, so it’s not exactly the scariest thing. Some studies estimate that as many as 30 percent of the world’s population, or two billion people, are currently carrying tiny T. gondii tachyzoites in their brains. Nonetheless, if it all seems a bit remote, consider this: Researchers believe that more than 60 million people in the United States alone are currently infected with T. gondii, and the majority of them are unaware because the parasite frequently produces no symptoms. That is, until the day it strikes.
Amoeba of Madness
Naegleria fowler is generally found in warm and stagnant water bodies. It is an amoeba that has a taste for human brains. It can spend extended periods as a cyst, which can endure cold, heat, and dry environments. A cyst grows tentacle-like pseudopods and becomes a trophozoite when it contacts a host. Once converted, the trophozoite follows nerve fibres into the host’s brain.
N. fowleri burrows into its host’s brain tissue, generally the olfactory bulbs, and starts eating brain matter. As the amoeba divides, multiplies, and advances inward, it devours brain cells, leaving its hosts uncomfortable, incoherent, and comatose in hours.
Taste and smell changes, fever, and stiffness are early symptoms. As N. fowleri digs deeper into the brain’s cognitive centres, victims get confused, lose focus, and hallucinate. The brain loses control, causing convulsions and unconsciousness. Most victims die two weeks later, but one man in Taiwan lasted 25 days before his neurological system gave out. N. fowleri infections are extremely rare only in the hundreds worldwide but they’re virtually always lethal and difficult to diagnose and treat.
Mind Manipulating Parasites: Virus that Induces Fear
Wild cats and dogs may look friendly however they could contain the deadly rabies virus, which doesn’t necessarily cause mouth-foaming but alters brain function. A single puncture wound is all this bullet-shaped virus needs to enter a new host and evade the immune system. Once in the bloodstream, the virus quickly takes over cells and turns them into rabies factories. As the assailants multiply, they target the host’s CNS and brain.
Rabies viruses settle in the hippocampus, amygdala, and hypothalamus, brain areas that control memory, fear, and emotion. They don’t simply eat brain cells; they change how they release neurotransmitters like serotonin, GABA, and endogenous opioids. They manipulate their hosts’ brain chemistry. In rabies-affected animals’ altered states, they may lash out of terror rather than fury. Rabies victims shiver and twitch compulsively at the water and air puffs.
Untreated rabies sufferers become confused and hallucinate, striking out at imagined dangers and bystanders. They can’t sleep, sweat profusely, and fall into a paralyzed slumber as their brain function deteriorates. When the paralysis reaches their hearts and lungs, they go into a coma and die. Once infected the rabies could turned out to be fatal. Fewer than 10 people have ever survived clinical-stage rabies. Many doctors consider it incurable and it can be prevented using the vaccine.
The Parasite of Sleep
In the villages of sub-Saharan Africa and the jungles of the Amazon, even the tiniest bug can cause deathly sleep. The tsetse fly like the taste of human blood, and it frequently carries the Trypanosoma parasite, which prefers human brains.
Parasites of the genus Trypanosoma begin their existence in the digestive tracts of invertebrate hosts, but rapidly undergo a series of progressively complicated transformations upon contact with the human fluids they seek. During the initial stage of infection, known as the haemolymphatic stage, the parasites reside in the blood and lymph nodes of the host, where they develop from unremarkable tiny ovals into lengthy, writhing splotches with whip-like flagellae.
As the parasites mature, they pass the blood-brain barrier and enter the encephalitic stage. Trypanosoma affect the structure and function of the brain cells of their hosts, causing the hosts to feel and behave erratically.
Due to the parasite’s disruption of the sleep hormone melatonin’s release schedule, patients first have headaches and difficulty sleeping, or sleep and wake at irregular hours. Before long, however, human hosts begin to display a bewildering array of other psychiatric symptoms, including altered appetites, despair, strange speech patterns, excessive itching, and tremors.
Over the next few years, the host’s unusual behaviour gradually deteriorates into lethargy, unresponsiveness, and, ultimately, protracted slumber that leads to coma and death, hence the term “sleeping sickness.”
Parasites Survive On Negative Emotions
To accomplish this, they locate a traumatic memory in a person’s past. The perpetrators then make the victim feel powerless, desperate, and worthless. A person begins to search for justifications for them and discovers proof in their memories. It becomes a vicious cycle. The person’s emotions were launched from the outside, and he then wound himself up.
Parasites can damage the body for a fraction of a second by temporarily seizing control of it causing appropriate emotions or leading to suicide. Suicide ideation is a sure symptom of their onslaught.
Numerous studies have identified consciousness-infecting parasites. Robert Bruce is the author of one of the books on the subject, titled Psychic Self-Defense. Bruce states that our thoughts are susceptible to several invisible spiritual forces.
“It is clear that the recognition of the existence of dark spiritual entities is a significant difficulty for many. There are two ways here.
One is to consider them as some kind of dense clots of negative energy. The second – as visible manifestations of one’s own subconscious or the subconscious of other people; or else as independently existing sensible thought-forms.
They can make us unhappy, irritable, confused, sick, unstable, even crazy. Your understanding of spirits depends solely on your life experience, your beliefs, and your willingness to acknowledge their existence. However, no matter who or what they are, if they exist at all, they must be taken into account.”Robert Bruce
Another writer, Colin Wilson wrote in her book, Parasites of the Mind:
The uninitiated ask me from time to time if I really ‘see’ parasites and believe that they have any particular form. To this I answer no. To understand the sensations I’m talking about, imagine this picture.
You are hot, you are tired, everything in the world is somehow going wrong. As soon as you start to cross the street, a bus rushes past you, almost crushing your leg; the whole world seems hostile to you.
The usual sense of security has disappeared, everything seems frighteningly fragile and unreliable. This is how a person who has been attacked by parasites feels.
I used to take all this for an ordinary bout of pessimism and bad mood and immediately found some reason for concern to justify them.”Colin Wilson
Many of our experiences cannot be seen with the physical eyes in the world in which we live. The veil of the third dimension obscures our consciousness of “seeing” and “feeling” other aspects of our lives the majority of the time. According to these academics, the next time you detect unpleasant thoughts entering your mind, they are not yours at all.
Have you ever felt the presence of these mind manipulating parasites in your body? Leave us your thoughts in the comment section.
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