Celiac Abstracts 7

© 2011

Conjugated linoleic acid protects against gliadin-induced depletion of intestinal defenses

            (Bergamo, Gogliettino et al. 2011) Download

SCOPE: The involvement of oxidative stress in gluten-induced toxicity has been evidenced in vitro and in clinical studies but has never been examined in vivo. We recently demonstrated the protective activity of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which functions by the activation of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor2 (Nrf2), a key transcription factor for the synthesis of antioxidant and detoxifying enzymes (phase 2). Here, we evaluate the involvement of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor2 in gliadin-mediated toxicity in human Caco-2 intestinal cells and in gliadin-sensitive human leukocyte antigen-DQ8 transgenic mice (DQ8) and the protective activity of CLA. METHODS AND RESULTS: Gliadin effects in differentiated Caco-2 cells and in DQ8 mice, fed with a gliadin-containing diet with or without CLA supplementation, were evaluated by combining enzymatic, immunochemical, immunohistochemical, and quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) assays. Gliadin toxicity was accompanied by downregulation of phase 2 and elevates proteasome-acylpeptide hydrolase activities in vitro and in vivo. Notably, gliadin was unable to generate severe oxidative stress extent or pathological consequences in DQ8 mice intestine comparable to those found in celiac patients and the alterations produced were hampered by CLA. CONCLUSION: The beneficial effects of CLA against the depletion of crucial intestinal cytoprotective defenses indicates a novel nutritional approach for the treatment of intestinal disease associated with altered redox homeostasis.

Anti-ganglioside antibodies in children with coeliac disease: correlation with gluten-free diet and neurological complications

            (Briani, Ruggero et al. 2004) Download

BACKGROUND: Emerging evidence points to humoural mechanisms in neurological complications of coeliac disease. Immunoglobulin G anti-ganglioside antibodies have been reported in coeliac disease patients with neuropathy, suggesting an immune response to peripheral nerve antigens. No data are so far available on anti-ganglioside antibodies in coeliac disease children or on antibody modifications after gluten-free diet. AIM: To evaluate the presence of antibodies to ganglioside antigens in children with coeliac disease, their modification after gluten-free diet, and possible correlations with neurological manifestations. METHODS: Sera from 42 coeliac disease children, before and after gluten-free diet, were tested by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for the presence of antibodies (immunoglobulin M, immunoglobulin A, immunoglobulin G) to gangliosides. Thirty-five sera of age-matched children with dyspepsia were used as control. RESULTS: High anti-ganglioside antibodies titres were present in two patients. In one patient, antibody titre reversed after gluten-free diet, whereas in the other one the titre increased after diet. Neither one complained of neurological symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: Anti-ganglioside antibodies do not seem to correlate with gluten ingestion or with neurological manifestations in children with coeliac disease. Mechanisms different from gluten exposure may be implicated in the antibody production. An ongoing prospective study will help clarify the role, if any, of these antibodies in coeliac disease.

White matter lesions suggestive of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis attributed to celiac disease

            (Brown, Jewells et al. 2010) Download

CD is an autoimmune-mediated disorder of the gastrointestinal tract. Initial symptom presentation is variable and can include neurologic manifestations that may comprise ataxia, neuropathy, dizziness, epilepsy, and cortical calcifications rather than gastrointestinal-hindering diagnosis and management. We present a case of a young man with progressive neurologic symptoms and brain MR imaging findings worrisome for ALS. During the diagnostic work-up, endomysium antibodies were discovered, and CD was confirmed by upper gastrointestinal endoscopy with duodenal biopsies. MR imaging findings suggestive of ALS improved after gluten-free diet institution.

Sporadic cerebellar ataxia associated with gluten sensitivity

            (Burk, Bosch et al. 2001) Download

A total of 104 patients with sporadic cerebellar ataxia were tested for antigliadin and antiendomysium antibodies. Twelve individuals (11.5%) with gluten sensitivity underwent duodenal biopsy and extensive clinical, electrophysiological, neuropsychological, radiological and laboratory investigations including human leucocyte antigen (HLA) typing. Two patients showed typical changes of gluten-sensitive enteropathy with crypt hyperplasia and mucosal flattening. In five patients, the intraepithelial lymphocyte count was elevated. Sporadic ataxia with gluten sensitivity was found to be tightly linked to the HLA DQB1*0201 haplotype (70%). Neurological symptoms were not related to hypovitaminosis or inflammatory CSF changes. The clinical syndrome was dominated by progressive cerebellar ataxia with ataxia of stance and gait (100%), dysarthria (100%) and limb ataxia (97%). Oculomotor abnormalities were gaze-evoked nystagmus (66.7%), spontaneous nystagmus (33.3%), saccade slowing (25%) and upward gaze palsy (16.7%). Extracerebellar features also included deep sensory loss (58.3%), bladder dysfunction (33.3%) and reduced ankle reflexes (33.3%). In accordance with clinical findings, electrophysiological investigations revealed prominent axonal neuropathy with reduced amplitudes (50%) and abnormal evoked potentials (58.3%). On neuropsychological testing, patients presented with moderate verbal memory and executive dysfunction. All patients had evidence of cerebellar atrophy on MRI. We conclude that sporadic ataxia may be associated with positive antibodies against gliadin. Nevertheless, mucosal pathology does not represent an obligatory condition of ataxia with gluten sensitivity. The fact that the disease is strongly associated with the same HLA haplotypes found in coeliac disease not only demonstrates coeliac disease and ataxia with gluten sensitivity to be part of the same disease entity but supports the hypothesis of an immunological pathogenesis of cerebellar degeneration.

Bovine milk intolerance in celiac disease is related to IgA reactivity to alpha- and beta-caseins

            (Cabrera-Chavez and de la Barca 2009) Download

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease triggered mainly by ingestion of wheat gluten proteins. However, some other dietary proteins, such as those of cow's milk, induce celiac disease-like symptoms in some patients with celiac disease. Different approaches have been done to detect the component responsible for this problem, including the possibility of gluten peptides present in cow's milk.

Prevalence and clinical associations of prolonged prothrombin time in adult untreated coeliac disease

            (Cavallaro, Iovino et al. 2004) Download

INTRODUCTION: Untreated coeliac disease may induce malabsorption of many nutrients. It may also induce vitamin K deficiency, which causes prolongation of the prothrombin time. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the prevalence and associations of prolonged prothrombin time in a series of coeliac adults. METHODS: We carried out a cross-sectional analysis of data collected on 390 adults with untreated coeliac disease diagnosed from January 1997 to December 2000. Prolonged prothrombin time was defined as INR > or = 1.4. RESULTS: A prolonged prothrombin time was found in 72 coeliac patients (18.5%). Parenteral vitamin K therapy was required in 5.6% of patients. Patients with prolonged prothrombin time had significant lower values of haemoglobin, iron, proteins, cholesterol and serum aspartate transaminase, and significantly higher prevalence of diarrhoea, weight loss, abdominal pain and low bone mineral density in comparison with patients with normal prothrombin time. However, low bone density was present in 11.6% of patients with normal INR. A prolonged prothrombin time was only found in a few patients with subclinical coeliac disease (0.9%). CONCLUSIONS: Data indicate that the prevalence of prolonged prothrombin time is about 20% in a large series of adult untreated coeliac patients. A prolonged prothrombin time was significantly related to all the markers of severe malabsorption, including low mineral density. Our suggestion is that vitamin K related proteins may also play a role in determining or worsening calcium homeostasis disorders in coeliac disease. The very low prevalence of coagulation disorders in subclinical coeliac disease indicates that there is no need to screen for coeliac disease in patients with isolated coagulation disorders.

Coagulopathy due to celiac disease presenting as intramuscular hemorrhage

            (Chen, Cumbler et al. 2007) Download

INTRODUCTION: Celiac sprue most commonly presents with steatorrhea, abdominal pain, and weight loss. Celiac disease is now becoming more recognized for its atypical presentations. Anemia, osteoporosis, and childhood failure to thrive have been widely discussed. OBJECTIVE: In this paper, we present a case of nontraumatic intramuscular hemorrhage associated with prolongation of both prothrombin time and activated partial thromboplastin time. MAIN RESULTS: Coagulopathy, unmasked by the use of a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, was found to be attributable to vitamin K deficiency associated with malabsorption of multiple fat soluble vitamins. Celiac sprue was confirmed by small bowel biopsy. A review of the literature finds that, whereas asymptomatic prolongation of coagulation is relatively common in celiac sprue, clinical bleeding is a rare but described presentation. CONCLUSION: This case emphasizes the importance of recognizing hemorrhage as an atypical manifestation of celiac disease and offers the opportunity to review the clinical and laboratory evaluation of a patient who presents with unexplained hemorrhage.

Increased prevalence of celiac disease in patients with unexplained infertility in the United States

            (Choi, Lebwohl et al. 2011) Download

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether there might be an increased prevalence of undiagnosed celiac disease among a population of infertile women using serologic screening. STUDY DESIGN: A prospective cohort study was performed at an academic infertility clinic in the United States. RESULTS: The overall prevalence of celiac disease in this population was 2.1% (4/188). There was a significantly increased prevalence (5.9%) of undiagnosed celiac disease among women presenting with unexplained infertility (n = 51). CONCLUSION: Women with unexplained infertility are at increased risk for having undiagnosed celiac disease, which may be a potentially modifiable (and treatable) risk factor.


Neurological disorders in adult celiac disease

            (Freeman 2008) Download

Celiac disease may initially present as a neurological disorder. Alternatively, celiac disease may be complicated by neurological changes. With impaired nutrient absorption, different deficiency syndromes may occur and these may be manifested clinically with neurological changes. However, in patients with deficiency syndromes, extensive involvement of the small intestine with celiac disease is often evident. There are a number of reports of celiac disease associated with neuropathy, ataxia, dementia and seizure disorder. In these reports, there is no clear relationship with nutrient deficiency and a precise mechanism for the neurological changes has not been defined. A small number of patients have been reported to have responded to vitamin E administration, but most do not. In some, gluten antibodies have also been described, especially in those with ataxia, but a consistent response to a gluten-free diet has not been defined. Screening for celiac disease should be considered in patients with unexplained neurological disorders, including ataxia and dementia. Further studies are needed, however, to determine if a gluten-free diet will lead to improvement in the associated neurological disorder.

Autonomic neuropathy and coeliac disease

            (Gibbons and Freeman 2005) Download

Coeliac disease is associated with numerous neurological manifestations including cerebellar ataxia, myelopathy, myopathy, and peripheral neuropathy. This report describes four patients who presented subacutely with presyncope and postural nausea. All four patients had biopsy proven coeliac disease with dysautonomia present on autonomic evaluation. These four patients comprised 2.4% of patients referred for autonomic testing in one year. Thus the frequency of coeliac disease is similar to that reported in idiopathic peripheral neuropathy.

Gluten sensitivity as a neurological illness

            (Hadjivassiliou, Grunewald et al. 2002) Download

Dietary treatment of gluten ataxia

         (Hadjivassiliou, Davies-Jones et al. 2003) Download

BACKGROUND: Gluten ataxia is an immune mediated disease, part of the spectrum of gluten sensitivity, and accounts for up to 40% of cases of idiopathic sporadic ataxia. No systematic study of the effect of gluten-free diet on gluten ataxia has ever been undertaken. OBJECTIVE: To study the effect of gluten-free diet on patients presenting with ataxia caused by gluten sensitivity. METHODS: 43 patients with gluten ataxia were studied. All were offered a gluten-free diet and monitored every six months. All patients underwent a battery of tests to assess their ataxia at baseline and after one year on diet. Twenty six patients (treatment group) adhered to the gluten-free diet and had evidence of elimination of antigliadin antibodies by one year. Fourteen patients refused the diet (control group). Three patients had persistently raised antigliadin antibodies despite adherence to the diet and were therefore excluded from the analysis. RESULTS: After one year there was improvement in ataxia reflected in all of the ataxia tests in the treatment group. This was significant when compared with the control group. The diet associated improvement was apparent irrespective of the presence of an enteropathy. CONCLUSIONS: Gluten ataxia responds to a strict gluten-free diet even in the absence of an enteropathy. The diagnosis of gluten ataxia is vital as it is one of the very few treatable causes of sporadic ataxia.

Gluten ataxia in perspective: epidemiology, genetic susceptibility and clinical characteristics

            (Hadjivassiliou, Grunewald et al. 2003) Download

We previously have described a group of patients with gluten sensitivity presenting with ataxia (gluten ataxia) and suggested that this disease entity may account for a large number of patients with sporadic idiopathic ataxia. We have therefore investigated the prevalence of gluten sensitivity amongst a large cohort of patients with sporadic and familial ataxia and looked at possible genetic predisposition to gluten sensitivity amongst these groups. Two hundred and twenty-four patients with various causes of ataxia from North Trent (59 familial and/or positive testing for spinocerebellar ataxias 1, 2, 3, 6 and 7, and Friedreich's ataxia, 132 sporadic idiopathic and 33 clinically probable cerebellar variant of multiple system atrophy MSA-C) and 44 patients with sporadic idiopathic ataxia from The Institute of Neurology, London, were screened for the presence of antigliadin antibodies. A total of 1200 volunteers were screened as normal controls. The prevalence of antigliadin antibodies in the familial group was eight out of 59 (14%), 54 out of 132 (41%) in the sporadic idiopathic group, five out of 33 (15%) in the MSA-C group and 149 out of 1200 (12%) in the normal controls. The prevalence in the sporadic idiopathic group from London was 14 out of 44 (32%). The difference in prevalence between the idiopathic sporadic groups and the other groups was highly significant (P < 0.0001 and P < 0.003, respectively). The clinical characteristics of 68 patients with gluten ataxia were as follows: the mean age at onset of the ataxia was 48 years (range 14-81 years) with a mean duration of the ataxia of 9.7 years (range 1-40 years). Ocular signs were observed in 84% and dysarthria in 66%. Upper limb ataxia was evident in 75%, lower limb ataxia in 90% and gait ataxia in 100% of patients. Gastrointestinal symptoms were present in only 13%. MRI revealed atrophy of the cerebellum in 79% and white matter hyperintensities in 19%. Forty-five percent of patients had neurophysiological evidence of a sensorimotor axonal neuropathy. Gluten-sensitive enteropathy was found in 24%. HLA DQ2 was present in 72% of patients. Gluten ataxia is therefore the single most common cause of sporadic idiopathic ataxia. Antigliadin antibody testing is essential at first presentation of patients with sporadic ataxia.

Hematologic manifestations of celiac disease

         (Halfdanarson, Litzow et al. 2007) Download

Celiac disease is a common systemic disorder that can have multiple hematologic manifestations. Patients with celiac disease may present to hematologists for evaluation of various hematologic problems prior to receiving a diagnosis of celiac disease. Anemia secondary to malabsorption of iron, folic acid, and/or vitamin B12 is a common complication of celiac disease and many patients have anemia at the time of diagnosis. Celiac disease may also be associated with thrombocytosis, thrombocytopenia, leukopenia, venous thromboembolism, hyposplenism, and IgA deficiency. Patients with celiac disease are at increased risk of being diagnosed with lymphoma, especially of the T-cell type. The risk is highest for enteropathy-type T-cell lymphoma (ETL) and B-cell lymphoma of the gut, but extraintestinal lymphomas can also be seen. ETL is an aggressive disease with poor prognosis, but strict adherence to a gluten-free diet may prevent its occurrence.

Anemia in celiac disease is multifactorial in etiology

            (Harper, Holleran et al. 2007) Download

Anemia in celiac disease (CD) has been attributed to nutritional deficiencies; however, the clinical manifestations of CD have changed with nongastrointestinal presentations predominating. We collected hematologic parameters from a cohort of patients seen at a tertiary care center for CD to assess the characteristics of anemia in this population. Hematological parameters measured <or=3 months of diagnosis and degree of villous atrophy from 405 patients diagnosed >1995 was analyzed. Ferritin levels were compared with population controls (NHANES III). Iron deficiency was common, occurring in 33% of men and 19% of women (P < 0.001). Folate deficiency was seen in approximately 12% of the total sample and B12 deficiency in approximately 5%. Anemia was present in approximately 20% of the cohort. Among the anemic patients, ferritin was less than the 10th percentile in 45%, between the 10th and 50th percentile in 39% and greater than the 50th percentile in 13%. Ferritin > 50th percentile was more common in anemic men (24%) than in anemic women (9%; P > 0.20). Macrocytic anemia with concurrent B12 or folate deficiency was rare (3%). Elevated ESR was observed in patients with ferritin < 10th percentile and >50th. A gluten-free diet resulted in increased serum ferritin in iron-deficient patients, and decreased ferritin levels in those with high ferritin (r(2) = 0.46, P < 0.001). Although anemia is still a common presentation of celiac disease, nutritional deficiencies alone do not explain this phenomenon in all cases; inflammation appears to contribute as evidenced by the presence of anemia of chronic disease in some individuals.

Celiac disease and gluten-associated diseases

         (Helms 2005) Download

Celiac disease develops from an autoimmune response to specific dietary grains that contain gluten. Diagnosis can be made based on the classical presentation of diarrhea, fatty stools, and abdominal bloating and cramping, as well as the presence of specific serum antibodies. In addition, gluten ingestion has increasingly been found to be associated with other conditions not usually correlated with gluten intolerance. The subsequent diversity of the clinical presentation in these cases can complicate decision-making and delay treatment initiation in conditions such as ataxia, headaches, arthritis, neuropathy, type 1 diabetes mellitus, and others. This review explores the etiology and pathology of celiac disease, presents support for the relationship between gluten and other diseases, and provides effective screening and treatment protocols.

Coeliac disease presenting with cerebellar degeneration

            (Hermaszewski, Rigby et al. 1991) Download

A case of rapidly progressive cerebellar degeneration with bilateral sixth nerve palsies is described in whom investigation revealed the presence of unsuspected coeliac disease. In spite of treatment with a gluten free diet, rapid fatal deterioration occurred. Coeliac disease should be considered in patients with encephalopathy of obscure origin.

Neurological manifestations in celiacs and vitamin E status

            (Hozyasz 2005) Download


Cognitive impairment and celiac disease

            (Hu, Murray et al. 2006) Download

OBJECTIVE: To characterize the clinical, radiological, and electrophysiological laboratory profiles and histological features of patients who developed cognitive impairment temporally associated with celiac disease. DESIGN: Case series. SETTING: Referral center. PATIENTS: Patients with the onset of progressive cognitive decline within 2 years of symptomatic onset or with a severe exacerbation of biopsy-proved adult celiac disease were identified from the Mayo Clinic medical records from January 1, 1970, to December 31, 2005. Patients were excluded if an alternate cause of their cognitive impairment was identified. RESULTS: Thirteen patients (5 women) were identified. The median age at cognitive impairment onset was 64 years (range, 45-79 years), which coincided with symptom onset or exacerbation of diarrhea, steatorrhea, and abdominal cramping in 5 patients. Amnesia, acalculia, confusion, and personality changes were the most common presenting features. The average initial Short Test of Mental Status score was 28 of a total of 38 (range, 18-34), which was in the moderately impaired range. The results of neuropsychological testing suggested a trend of a frontosubcortical pattern of impairment. Ten patients had ataxia, and 4 of them also had peripheral neuropathy. Magnetic resonance imaging of the head showed nonspecific T2 hyperintensities, and electroencephalography showed nonspecific diffuse slowing. Deficiencies in folate, vitamin B(12), vitamin E, or a combination were identified in 4 patients, yet supplementation did not improve their neurological symptoms. Three patients improved or stabilized cognitively with gluten withdrawal. A detailed histological analysis revealed nonspecific gliosis. CONCLUSIONS: A possible association exists between progressive cognitive impairment and celiac disease, given the temporal relationship and the relatively high frequency of ataxia and peripheral neuropathy, more commonly associated with celiac disease. Given the impact for potential treatment of similar cases, recognition of this possible association and additional studies are warranted.

Gluten sensitivity in Japanese patients with adult-onset cerebellar ataxia

            (Ihara, Makino et al. 2006) Download

OBJECTIVE: Gluten sensitivity is associated with multiple neurological abnormalities including gluten ataxia, motor neuron disease-like neuropathy, small fiber type neuropathy, cognitive impairment, and even parkinsonism. We investigated whether or not gluten sensitivity is involved in Japanese patients with idiopathic cerebellar ataxia with extracerebellar presentation. PATIENTS OR MATERIALS: Fourteen patients with idiopathic cerebellar ataxia with extracerebellar presentation (autonomic instability, parkinsonism, or pyramidal dysfunction in varying combinations) were screened for anti-gliadin antibodies (AGA) to analyze for the presence or absence of gluten sensitivity. Patients with typical MR findings of multiple system atrophy of the cerebellar type were excluded. As disease controls without cerebellar ataxia, 9 patients with Parkinson's disease and 18 patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis were screened for AGA. Forty-seven normal controls were also screened for AGA. RESULTS: We found a high prevalence of AGA in 5 (36%) of 14 cerebellar ataxia patients, but in only 1 (4%) of 27 disease controls without cerebellar ataxia (odds ratio, 14.4; 95% CI, 1.41147; p<0.05) and in only 1 (2%) of 47 normal controls (odds ratio, 25.6; 95% CI, 2.66246; p<0.001). Among the cerebellar ataxia patients, atypical features such as sensorimotor neuropathy and/or mild cognitive impairment were more prevalent in the AGA-positive group (60%) than in the AGA-negative group (0%). In one of the ataxic patients with AGA, a gluten-free diet had positive effects on neurological symptoms and nutritional status. CONCLUSION: Gluten sensitivity is involved in at least some of the unexplained neurological symptoms of Japanese patients with adult-onset, sporadic cerebellar ataxia.

Gluten sensitivity: associated sporadic cerebellar ataxia in Taiwan

            (Liu, Soong et al. 2010) Download

PURPOSE: Gluten sensitivity (GS) is related to the pathogenesis of sporadic or hereditary ataxia. METHODS: Total of 194 healthy controls and patients with either hereditary ataxia (n=207) or sporadic ataxia (n=361) were tested for the circulating gluten-related autoantibodies which serve as biomarkers to interpret the existence of GS. RESULTS: The incidences of GS in each population were 1% in normal subjects, 2% in hereditary ataxia patients and 9% in sporadic ataxia patients. High serum level of anti-gliadin IgG/IgA and t-transglutaminase IgA were disclosed at the sporadic ataxia patients compared with normal subjects. However, the anti-gliadin IgG is more specific to the disease of sporadic ataxia. CONCLUSION: Relatively higher incidence of GS was found in the population of sporadic ataxia patients but not in either normal subjects or hereditary ataxia patients in Taiwan. Anti-gliadin IgG still is a very powerful indicator to implicate the immune-related sporadic ataxia and we conclude that GS-related sporadic ataxia exists in Taiwan with linkage to autoimmune events.


Ataxia, peripheral neuropathy, and anti-gliadin antibody. Guilt by association?

            (Lock, Pengiran Tengah et al. 2005) Download

Some authors contend that patients with idiopathic neurological disease who are also anti-gliadin antibody seropositive are gluten sensitive. However, anti-gliadin antibodies lack disease specificity being found in 10% of healthy blood donors. We report a study comparing anti-gliadin antibody with other food antibodies in patients with idiopathic ataxia (20), hereditary ataxias (seven), or idiopathic peripheral neuropathy (32). Patients were HLA typed. IgA anti-tissue transglutaminase antibodies (tTG) were measured. No case was positive for IgA anti-tTG making occult coeliac disease unlikely. HLA DQ2 and HLA DQ8 were found distributed equally across all patient groups and unrelated to gliadin antibody status. HLA DQ2 expressing, anti-gliadin antibody positive cases (so called "gluten ataxia") were rare in our clinics (four cases in 2 years from a population of 2 million). We conclude that coeliac disease per se is not commonly associated with either idiopathic ataxia or idiopathic peripheral neuropathy. Our study also casts doubt on the nosological status of "gluten ataxia" as a discreet disease entity. All food antibodies tested, particularly IgG, were a common finding in both ataxia and peripheral neuropathy groups. No particular food antibody was associated with any patient group. Food antibodies were equally common in hereditary ataxias. We conclude they are a non-specific finding.

Selective loss of Purkinje cells in a patient with anti-gliadin-antibody-positive autoimmune cerebellar ataxia

            (Nanri, Shibuya et al. 2011) Download

The patient was an 84-year-old woman who had the onset of truncal ataxia at age 77 and a history of Basedow's disease. Her ataxic gait gradually deteriorated. She could not walk without support at age 81 and she was admitted to our hospital at age 83. Gaze-evoked nystagmus and dysarthria were observed. Mild ataxia was observed in all limbs. Her deep tendon reflex and sense of position were normal. IgA anti-gliadin antibody, IgG anti-gliadin antibody, anti-SS-A/Ro antibody, anti-SS-B/La antibody and anti-TPO antibody were positive. A conventional brain MRI did not show obvious cerebellar atrophy. However, MRI voxel based morphometry (VBM) and SPECT-eZIS revealed cortical cerebellar atrophy and reduced cerebellar blood flow. IVIg treatment was performed and was moderately effective. After her death at age 85, the patient was autopsied. Neuropathological findings were as follows: selective loss of Purkinje cells; no apparent degenerative change in the efferent pathways, such as the dentate nuclei or vestibular nuclei; no prominent inflammatory reaction. From these findings, we diagnosed this case as autoimmune cerebellar atrophy associated with gluten ataxia. All 3 autopsies previously reported on gluten ataxia have noted infiltration of inflammatory cells in the cerebellum.In this case, we postulated that the infiltration of inflammatory cells was not found because the patient's condition was based on humoral immunity. The clinical conditions of gluten ataxia have not yet been properly elucidated, but are expected to be revealed as the number of autopsied cases increases.

Idiopathic cerebellar ataxia associated with celiac disease: lack of distinctive neurological features

            (Pellecchia, Scala et al. 1999) Download

OBJECTIVES: To determine the occurrence of celiac disease in a population of ataxic patients without definite diagnosis and to characterise distinctive features which may help to differentiate cerebellar ataxia with and without celiac disease. METHODS: Twenty four ataxic patients without definite diagnosis (group A) and 23 ataxic patients with definite diagnosis (group B) were screened for antigliadin (AGAs) and antiendomysium antibodies (EMAs). Patients with a positive AGA or EMA test underwent endoscopic biopsy of the duodenal mucosa. RESULTS: There was an increased prevalence of celiac disease in group A (3/24) compared with group B (0/23). None of the celiac patients presented gastrointestinal symptoms or malabsorption signs. None of the ataxic patients with celiac disease had early onset ataxia. CONCLUSIONS: Celiac disease is associated with ataxic syndromes without definite diagnosis, suggesting that it plays a part in the pathogenesis of some ataxic syndromes. The absence of distinctive neurological features in ataxic patients with celiac disease suggests that a search should be made for celiac disease markers in all ataxic patients without definite diagnosis.

Neurological complications of coeliac disease

         (Pengiran Tengah, Wills et al. 2002) Download

A variety of neurological disorders have been reported in association with coeliac disease including epilepsy, ataxia, neuropathy, and myelopathy. The nature of this association is unclear and whether a specific neurological complication occurs in coeliac disease remains unproved. Malabsorption may lead to vitamin and trace element deficiencies. Therefore, patients who develop neurological dysfunction should be carefully screened for these. However, malabsorption does not satisfactorily explain the pathophysiology and clinical course of many of the associated neurological disorders. Other mechanisms proposed include altered autoimmunity, heredity, and gluten toxicity. This review attempts to summarise the literature and suggests directions for future research.


Should coeliac disease be considered in the work up of patients with chronic peripheral neuropathy?

            (Rosenberg and Vermeulen 2005) Download

OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether there is an association between chronic peripheral neuropathy and coeliac disease. METHODS: The cause of chronic peripheral neuropathy was first investigated in a group of 478 patients. Published reports were then examined systematically for an association between chronic peripheral neuropathy and coeliac disease. Cases were divided into two groups: group A, polyneuropathy preceding duodenal biopsy and controls undergoing duodenal biopsies; group B, coeliac disease preceding polyneuropathy. Patients with cerebellar ataxia, small fibre neuropathy, or a cause for their neuropathy were excluded. RESULTS: In 425 of the 478 patients, a cause other than coeliac disease was established. In the patients with no determined cause for neuropathy, one had abnormally increased IgA antigliadin antibodies but duodenal biopsy was normal. Ten previous studies of patients with chronic peripheral neuropathies were reviewed. The incidence of biopsy proven coeliac disease in patients with polyneuropathy did not differ from the controls (group A). In patients with a proven coeliac disease (group B), polyneuropathy could not be diagnosed more often than in the general population. CONCLUSIONS: The results of both the clinical study and the literature review suggest that it is unlikely that chronic peripheral neuropathy without other neurological signs is associated with coeliac disease.

Neurological manifestations of celiac disease

         (Siqueira Neto, Costa et al. 2004) Download

Celiac disease (CD/ Nontropicalsprue, gluten-sensitive enteropathy) is a malabsortive condition in which an allergic reaction to the cereal grain-protein gluten (present in wheat, rye and barley) causes small intestine mucosal injury. The onset is in the first four decades of life, with a female to male ratio of 2:1. It may be associated with a wide spectrum of neurological manifestations including cerebellar ataxia, epileptic seizures, dementia, neuropathy, myopathy and multifocal leucoencephalopathy. We report three patients with neurological manifestations related with CD: one with cerebellar ataxia, one with epilepsy and one with cognitive impairment. The diagnosis of CD was confirmed by serologic tests (antiendomysial and antigliadin antibodies) and biopsy of the small intestine. In two patients the neurological symptoms preceded the gastrointestinal abnormalities and in all of them gluten restriction failed to improve the neurological disability. CONCLUSION: CD should be ruled out in the differential diagnosis of neurological dysfunction of unknown cause, including ataxia, epilepsy and dementia. A gluten free diet, the mainstay of treatment, failed to improve the neurological disability.


Celiac disease in patients with type 1 diabetes: a condition with distinct changes in intestinal immunity?

            (Uibo, Panarina et al. 2011) Download

Two common chronic childhood diseases-celiac disease (CD) and type 1 diabetes (T1D)-result from complex pathological mechanisms where genetic susceptibility, environmental exposure, alterations in intestinal permeability and immune responses play central roles. In this study, we investigated whether these characteristics were universal for CD independently of T1D association. For this purpose, we studied 36 children with normal small-bowel mucosa and 26 children with active CD, including 12 patients with T1D. In samples from the small-bowel mucosa, we detected the lowest expression of tight junction protein 1 (TJP1) mRNA in CD patients with T1D, indicating an increase in intestinal permeability. Furthermore, these samples displayed the highest expression of forkhead box P3 (FoxP3) mRNA, a marker for regulatory T cells, as compared with other patient groups. At the same time, serum levels of IgA antibodies specific for the CD-related antigens deamidated gliadin and tissue transglutaminase (tTG) were the highest in CD patients with T1D. In contrast, no significant differences were found in IgA or IgG antibodies specific for bovine beta-lactoglobulin or Bifidobacterium adolescentis DSM 20083-derived proteins. There were also no differences in the transamidating activity of serum autoantibodies between patients and control individuals. Our results show that patients with T1D and newly detected CD exhibit severely altered intestinal permeability, strong local immune activation and increased immunoregulatory mechanisms in the small bowel. Further study is required to determine whether these extreme changes in this CD subgroup are due to some specific environmental factors (virus infections), unknown genetic effects or autoimmune reactions to antigenic targets in intracellular tight junctions.

Cerebellar abnormalities on proton MR spectroscopy in gluten ataxia

         (Wilkinson, Hadjivassiliou et al. 2005) Download

Gluten sensitivity can manifest with ataxia. The metabolic status of the cerebellum was investigated in 15 patients with gluten ataxia and 10 controls using proton MR spectroscopy. Significant differences were present in mean N-acetyl aspartate levels at short echo time and N-acetyl aspartate/choline ratios at long echo time between the patient and control groups. These data support the hypothesis that cerebellar neuronal physiology differs between patients with gluten ataxia and healthy controls.

Gluten ataxia 'in perspective'

            (Wills and Unsworth 2003) Download

Ataxia and the role of antigliadin antibodies

            (Wong, Dwinnel et al. 2007) Download

BACKGROUND: Although it is acknowledged that patients with celiac disease can develop neurological complications such as ataxia, the association of antigliadin antibodies in the etiology of sporadic ataxia and the usefulness of this testing in diagnosis of ataxia is controversial. METHODS: We investigated this association by testing for the presence of IgG and IgA antigliadin antibodies in 56 ataxic patients and 59 controls. The ataxia patients were subsequently classified into three groups: sporadic, hereditary and MSA. RESULTS: Of the total ataxic patients, 6/56 (11%) were positive for either IgG or IGA antigliadin antibodies compared to the controls of which 5/59 (8%) were positive (p = 0.68). In a subgroup analysis, 4/29 (14%) of the samples in the sporadic ataxic subgroup were positive for antigliadin antibodies (IgG or IgA) compared to control (p = 0.44). Similar negative results were found in the remaining subgroup analyses. CONCLUSIONS: These results do not support an association between antigliadin antibodies and sporadic ataxias.

Range of neurologic disorders in patients with celiac disease

         (Zelnik, Pacht et al. 2004) Download

OBJECTIVE: During the past 2 decades, celiac disease (CD) has been recognized as a multisystem autoimmune disorder. A growing body of distinct neurologic conditions such as cerebellar ataxia, epilepsy, myoclonic ataxia, chronic neuropathies, and dementia have been reported, mainly in middle-aged adults. There still are insufficient data on the association of CD with various neurologic disorders in children, adolescents, and young adults, including more common and "soft" neurologic conditions, such as headache, learning disorders, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and tic disorders. The aim of the present study is to look for a broader spectrum of neurologic disorders in CD patients, most of them children or young adults. METHODS: Patients with CD were asked to fill in a questionnaire regarding the presence of neurologic disorders or symptoms. Their medical charts were reviewed, and those who were reported as having neurologic manifestations underwent neurologic examination and brain imaging or electroencephalogram if required. Their neurologic data were compared with that of a control group matched for age and gender. RESULTS: Patients with CD were more prone to develop neurologic disorders (51.4%) in comparison with control subjects (19.9%). These disorders include hypotonia, developmental delay, learning disorders and ADHD, headache, and cerebellar ataxia. Epileptic disorders were only marginally more common in CD. In contrast, no difference was found in the prevalence of tic disorders in both groups. Therapeutic benefit, with gluten-free diet, was demonstrated only in patients with transient infantile hypotonia and migraine headache. CONCLUSION: This study suggests that the variability of neurologic disorders that occur in CD is broader than previously reported and includes "softer" and more common neurologic disorders, such as chronic headache, developmental delay, hypotonia, and learning disorders or ADHD. Future longitudinal prospective studies might better define the full range of these neurologic disorders and their clinical response to a gluten-free diet.


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