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Toxoplasmosis and Alzheimer: can Toxoplasma gondii really be introduced as a risk factor in etiology of Alzheimer?


Alzheimer is a progressive neurological disease that results in irreversible loss of neurons and includes about two thirds of all cases of dementia. Toxoplasma gondii may be an important infectious agent involved in neurodegenerative diseases. The aim of this study was to investigate the correlation between Toxoplasma as an etiologic agent in the progress of Alzheimer’s disease. This case control study was conducted on 75 Alzheimer’s patients and 75 healthy volunteers. Blood samples were obtained and anti-Toxoplasma IgG and IgM tests were done by using ELISA technique. DNA was extracted from buffy coat and then GRA6 gene and SAG2 loci were amplified by PCR and nested PCR, respectively. Chi-square, Fisher’s test, and binary logistic regression were used for data analysis. A percentage of 61.3 % of Alzheimer’s patients and 62.6 % of healthy volunteers were positive for anti-Toxoplasma IgG but all participants were negative for anti-Toxoplasma IgM. There were no significant differences between Alzheimer’s patients with their controls in terms of anti-Toxoplasma IgG antibody (P = 0.5). Due to lack of positive IgM sample, results of the molecular methods were negative by GRA6 and SAG2 fragments amplification. This result shows that, infection with T. gondii cannot be considered as a risk factor for etiology and developing Alzheimer’s disease.

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This work was supported fully by the Neurosciences Research Center (Grant no: 1303), Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.

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Correspondence to Mahmoud Mahami-Oskouei.

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This study has been approved by the ethics committee of Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Iran.

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The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

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Mahami-Oskouei, M., Hamidi, F., Talebi, M. et al. Toxoplasmosis and Alzheimer: can Toxoplasma gondii really be introduced as a risk factor in etiology of Alzheimer?. Parasitol Res 115, 3169–3174 (2016).

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  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Toxoplasma gondii
  • PCR
  • Iran