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Could Toxoplasma gondii Have any Role in Alzheimer Disease?

Kusbeci, Ozge Yilmaz MD*; Miman, Ozlem MD, PhD; Yaman, Mehmet MD*; Aktepe, Orhan Cem MD; Yazar, Suleyman MD, PhD

Alzheimer Disease & Associated Disorders: January-March 2011 - Volume 25 - Issue 1 - p 1–3
doi: 10.1097/WAD.0b013e3181f73bc2
Concepts, Conjectures, and Hypotheses in Dementia

Background Alzheimer disease (AD), a chronic progressive neurodegenerative disorder, has a mainly unknown multifactorial etiology. Neuroinflammatory mechanisms might contribute to the cascade of events leading to neuronal degeneration. Central nervous system infections have been previously suggested as possible etiological agents in the development of sporadic AD. Toxoplasmosis can be associated with various neuropsychiatric disorders. In this study, we aimed to investigate the possible association between toxoplasma infection and AD.

Methods This study evaluated the serum anti-Toxoplasma gondii IgG levels. It included an age-matched and sex-matched study and control groups that consisted of 34 patients with AD and 37 healthy individuals, respectively. There were no difference between the socio economic states of the patients and control subjects. serecm anti – I – gondi IgG levels were measured by using ELISA.

Results According to the statistical analysis, there were no significant differences among the patients and the control participants with respect to age (68.05±15.98, 62.91±5.89 y, P=0.072; respectively) and sex. The seropositivity rate for anti-T. gondii IgG antibodies among AD patients and control groups were 44.1% and 24.3%, respectively, and there was significant difference between the serum anti-T. gondii IgG levels (P=0.005).

Conclusions Our findings suggest that toxoplasma infection may be involved in the pathogenetic mechanisms of AD. If confirmed, a positive correlation between toxoplasmosis and AD may lead to new approaches for the management of AD.

Departments of *Neurology

Microbiology, Afyon Kocatepe University Faculty of Medicine, Afyonkarahisar

Department of Parasitology, Erciyes University Faculty of Medicine, Kayseri, Turkey

Reprints: Ozge Yilmaz Kusbeci, MD, Department of Neurology, Kocatepe University School of Medicine, Afyonkarahisar, Turkey (e-mail:

Received April 12, 2010

Accepted July 23, 2010

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.