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Celiac Disease found in 4% of Adult Acetylcholine Receptor Antibody Positive Myasthenia Gravis
Jefferson Adams is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. His poems, essays and photographs have appeared in Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, Hayden's Ferry Review, Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and Slate among others.
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Celiac.com 11/22/2009 - Celiac disease has been associated with numerous other auto-immune disorders. Recently, there appeared the case of a 40-yr-old competitive strongman with celiac disease, who responded to a gluten-free diet, but developed profound and generalized motor weakness with acetylcholine receptor antibody positive myasthenia gravis, a disorder reported to occur in about 1 in 5000 people.
A team of researchers set out to further explore this possible relationship between myasthenia gravis and celiac disease via serological study.
They examined both endomysial and tissue transglutaminase antibodies. One in 23 samples (or, about 4.3%) tested positive for both IgA-endomysial and IgA tissue transglutaminase antibodies. Subsequent endoscopic study showed duodenal mucosal scalloping, while biopsies confirmed the histopathological changes of celiac disease.
From this, they concluded that celiac disease and myasthenia gravis may occur together more often than is currently understood. Muscle weakness in celiac disease may be a sign of possible occult myasthenia gravis, even in the absence of intestinal symptoms.
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