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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume 22 (2008), Issue 11, Pages 909-911
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2008/824631
Review

Neurological Disorders in Adult Celiac Disease

Hugh J Freeman

Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Received 2 May 2008; Accepted 28 July 2008

Copyright © 2008 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

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.