Celiac.com 09/29/2014 - Can a gluten-free diet lead to dramatic improvement of Parkinsonian symptoms in patients with celiac disease?

Image: Wikimedia Commons.In the January issue of the the Journal of Neurology, researchers Vincenzo Di Lazzaro, Fioravante Capone, Giovanni Cammarota, Daniela Di Giuda, and Federico Ranieri report on the case of a man who saw a dramatic improvement of Parkinsonian symptoms after gluten-free diet.

The researchers are affiliated with the Department of Neurosciences at the Institute of Neurology, Campus Bio-Medico University in Rome, Italy.

This case is interesting because it supports a growing body of research that indicates that, in some cases, gluten toxicity might adversely impact the nervous system, producing symptoms identical to classical Parkinson’s disease.

The man in question was a 75-year-old Parkinson’s disease patient with silent celiac disease saw major improvements in his symptoms after a 3-month long gluten-free diet.

Noting the positive results in this patient, and the fact that celiac disease often manifests with only neurological symptoms, even in older patients, the researchers are calling for a deeper exploration to determine if there are higher rates of celiac disease in people afflicted with Parkinson’s disease, or the related multi-factorial neurodegenerative condition known as Parkinsonism.

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