Celiac.com 04/23/2018 - A team of researchers recently set out to learn whether celiac disease patients commonly suffer cognitive impairment at the time they are diagnosed, and to compare their cognitive performance with non-celiac subjects with similar chronic symptoms and to a group of healthy control subjects.
The team enrolled fifty adults with symptoms and indications of celiac disease in a prospective cohort without regard to the final diagnosis. At baseline, all individuals underwent cognitive functional and psychological evaluation. The team then compared celiac disease patients with subjects without celiac disease, and with healthy controls matched by sex, age, and education.
Celiac disease patients had similar cognitive performance and anxiety, but no significant differences in depression scores compared with disease controls.
A total of thirty-three subjects were diagnosed with celiac disease. Compared with the 26 healthy control subjects, the 17 celiac disease subjects, and the 17 disease control subjects, who mostly had irritable bowel syndrome, showed impaired cognitive performance (P=0.02 and P=0.04, respectively), functional impairment (P<0.01), and higher depression (P<0.01).
From their data, the team noted that any abnormal cognitive functions they saw in adults with newly diagnosed celiac disease did not seem not to be a result of the disease itself.
Their results indicate that cognitive dysfunction in celiac patients could be related to long-term symptoms from chronic disease, in general.