INTRODUCTION: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a fatal, multifactorial neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive neuronal loss and the loss of cognitive function. The etiology has not yet been fully elucidated. It has been suggested in some studies that central nervous system infections may play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. The aim of the present study was to investigate a possible relationship with a latent Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) infection in astrocytes and S100 proteins released as a result of astrocyte damage.
METHODS: A total of 33 patients with AD and 32 healthy individuals were included in this study. There were 16 Toxoplasma-negative and 17 Toxoplasma-positive patients in the AD group, and 15 Toxoplasma-negative and 17 Toxoplasma-positive individuals in the control group.
RESULTS: There were no statistically significant differences between the groups in terms of mean age or gender. An inter-group comparison of the subjects revealed that the S100B level was higher in patients with AD than in the control group (p<0.05). There was no statistically significant difference between the groups in terms of the T. gondii immunoglobulin G test (p>0.05).
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: In our study, although there was no relationship between T. gondii infection and AD, significantly higher levels of S100B in patients with AD suggest that this protein may be important both in diagnosis and in possible treatment processes. The authors suggest that reproduction of the current study using different genotypes of T. gondii would further contribute to knowledge of the etiology of AD.