Celiac Disease and the Gut-Brain Axis

Gluten free diets have become somewhat of a fad lately, and many people say that they are not offering any health benefits for most people. But, given the wide range of symptoms and conditions that seem to be associated with celiac disease, it makes you wonder.

I had been aware of the physical symptoms claimed to be triggered by gluten sensitivity, but an article in The New York Times by Moises Velasquez-Manoff describes several cases of neurological symptoms – “seizures, hallucinations, psychotic breaks and even, in one published case, what looked like regressive autism, all ultimately associated with celiac disease.”

The mechanism is at least partly understood:

“Scientists at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield, Britain, have identified an antibody that binds to a version of transglutaminase, called TG6, which occurs primarily in the brain. This antibody, they argue, may identify celiac patients at risk for neurological complications.”

“Celiac disease differs from most other autoimmune diseases in one critical respect: The trigger, gluten, is known. And in most cases, removing gluten will turn off the autoimmune destruction in the gut. Around 10 percent of people with celiac disease, and possibly more, are thought to suffer neurological symptoms, ranging from headache and nerve pain, to ataxia and to epilepsy.”

Some researchers even claim that 25% of schizophrenics have anti-gliadin antibodies, compared to only 3% of the general public, but not all patients whither neurological symptoms associated with gluten intake carry this marker.

Certainly, food for thought…

http://nyti.ms/1srryi3

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