Neurological Complications of Celiac Disease

Neurological Complications of Celiac Disease

There is increasing evidence that celiac disease may be involved in various neurological disorders including ataxia and less commonly, peripheral neuropathy, encephalopathy, and myopathy. [Hadjivassiliou: 2006] Although these disorders associated with celiac disease have been described in adults, presentation in children has not been specifically looked for, and the significance of these findings is not yet well understood. Gluten ataxia is ([Hadjivassiliou: 2003]) associated with cerebellar atrophy and white matter intensities in other parts of the brain. Signs and symptoms improved after the patients went on a gluten-free diet. [Hadjivassiliou: 2003] Approximately one third of these patients had intestinal biopsies consistent with celiac disease. Prospective screening for gluten sensitivity was performed using antigliadin, antiendomysium and tissue transglutaminase antibodies, as well as HLA DQ2 testing.


Author: Lynne M Kerr, MD, PhD - 9/2008

Page Bibliography

Hadjivassiliou M, Davies-Jones GA, Sanders DS, Grunewald RA.
Dietary treatment of gluten ataxia.
J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2003;74(9):1221-4. PubMed abstract / Full Text

Hadjivassiliou M, Grunewald R, Sharrack B, Sanders D, Lobo A, Williamson C, Woodroofe N, Wood N, Davies-Jones A.
Gluten ataxia in perspective: epidemiology, genetic susceptibility and clinical characteristics.
Brain. 2003;126(Pt 3):685-91. PubMed abstract

Hadjivassiliou M, Grunewald RA, Kandler RH, Chattopadhyay AK, Jarratt JA, Sanders DS, Sharrack B, Wharton SB, Davies-Jones GA.
Neuropathy associated with gluten sensitivity.
J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2006;77(11):1262-6. PubMed abstract