Teen’s schizophrenia turns out to be cat-related

Psychotic symptoms from cat-scratch disease highlight the role of infection in psychiatric disorders: researchers

The mystery of the sudden appearance of ‘schizophrenia’ in a 14-year-old boy, who endured 18 months of hospitalisations, specialist assessments and medications, has been found to have a feline cause.

Doctors believe cat-scratch disease — or infection with Bartonella henselae from a cat scratch — lay behind the boy’s sudden-onset psychotic symptoms, according to a case report by researchers at North Carolina State University in the US.