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    Does Autoimmunity Play a Role in Cerebellar Ataxia with Sensory Ganglionopathy?


    Jefferson Adams


    • Nineteen patients had gluten sensitivity, of whom 3 patients had biopsy proven celiac disease


    Image Caption: Photo: CC--www.twin-loc.fr

    Celiac.com 01/15/2018 - Cerebellar ataxia with sensory ganglionopathy is a disabling combination of neurological dysfunction that usually occurs as part of certain hereditary ataxias. However, some patients present this combination with no apparent genetic cause.


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    A team of researchers recently set out to if autoimmunity might have a role to play in SG. The research team included Panagiotis Zis, Ptolemaios Georgios Sarrigiannis, Dasappaiah Ganesh Rao, Nigel Hoggard, David Surendran Sanders, and Marios Hadjivassiliou. They are variously affiliated with the Academic Department of Neurosciences, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield, UK; the University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK; the Department of Neuroradiology, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundaiton Trust, Sheffield, UK; the University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK; and the Academic Unit of Gastroenterology, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield, UK.

    The team reviewed records of all patients that have been referred to the Sheffield Ataxia Centre who had neurophysiological and imaging data suggestive of SG and cerebellar ataxia respectively. We excluded patients with Friedreich's ataxia, a common cause of this combination. All patients were screened for genetic causes and underwent extensive investigations.

    They found 40 patients with combined cerebellar ataxia and sensory ganglionopathy. The majority of patients were initially diagnosed with cerebellar dysfunction, and about one-third were initially diagnosed with sensory ganglionopathy.

    For that one-third, the two diagnoses were made together. The average time between the two diagnoses was 6.5 ± 8.9 years, ranging from 0 up to 44 years. The most common initial symptom was unsteadiness, in 77.5% of patients, followed by patchy sensory loss in 17.5%, and peripheral neuropathic pain in 5%.

    Nineteen patients had gluten sensitivity, of whom 3 patients had biopsy proven celiac disease. Other abnormal immunological tests were present in another 15 patients. Six patients had malignancy, which was diagnosed within 5 years of the neurological symptoms. Only 3 patients were classified as having a truly idiopathic combination of cerebellar ataxia with sensory ganglionopathy.

    This study shows that immune pathogenesis plays a significant role in patients with the unusual combination of cerebellar ataxia and sensory ganglionopathy.

    Source:


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    My own experience with stuttering is limited. I stuttered as a child when I became nervous, upset, or self-conscious. Although I have been gluten free for many years, I haven’t noticed any impact on my inclination to stutter when upset. I don’t know if they are related, but I have also had challenges with speaking when distressed and I have noticed a substantial improvement in this area since removing gluten from my diet. Nonetheless, I have long wondered if there is a connection between gluten consumption and stuttering. Having done the research for this article, I would now encourage stutterers to try a gluten free diet for six months to see if it will reduce or eliminate their stutter. Meanwhile, I hope that some investigator out there will research this matter, publish her findings, and start the ball rolling toward getting some definitive answers to this question.
    Sources:
    1. Toft M, Dietrichs E. Aggravated stuttering following subthalamic deep brain stimulation in Parkinson’s disease--two cases. BMC Neurol. 2011 Apr 8;11:44.
    2. Tani T, Sakai Y. Stuttering after right cerebellar infarction: a case study. J Fluency Disord. 2010 Jun;35(2):141-5. Epub 2010 Mar 15.
    3. Lundgren K, Helm-Estabrooks N, Klein R. Stuttering Following Acquired Brain Damage: A Review of the Literature. J Neurolinguistics. 2010 Sep 1;23(5):447-454.
    4. Jäncke L, Hänggi J, Steinmetz H. Morphological brain differences between adult stutterers and non-stutterers. BMC Neurol. 2004 Dec 10;4(1):23.
    5. Kell CA, Neumann K, von Kriegstein K, Posenenske C, von Gudenberg AW, Euler H, Giraud AL. How the brain repairs stuttering. Brain. 2009 Oct;132(Pt 10):2747-60. Epub 2009 Aug 26.
    6. Galantucci S, Tartaglia MC, Wilson SM, Henry ML, Filippi M, Agosta F, Dronkers NF, Henry RG, Ogar JM, Miller BL, Gorno-Tempini ML. White matter damage in primary progressive aphasias: a diffusion tensor tractography study. Brain. 2011 Jun 11.
    7. Lundgren K, Helm-Estabrooks N, Klein R. Stuttering Following Acquired Brain Damage: A Review of the Literature. J Neurolinguistics. 2010 Sep 1;23(5):447-454.
    8. [No authors listed] Case records of the Massachusetts General Hospital. Weekly clinicopathological exercises. Case 43-1988. A 52-year-old man with persistent watery diarrhea and aphasia. N Engl J Med. 1988 Oct 27;319(17):1139-48
    9. Molteni N, Bardella MT, Baldassarri AR, Bianchi PA. Celiac disease associated with epilepsy and intracranial calcifications: report of two patients. Am J Gastroenterol. 1988 Sep;83(9):992-4.
    10. http://ezinearticles.com/?Food-Allergy-and-Stuttering-Link&id=1235725 
    11. http://www.craig.copperleife.com/health/stuttering_allergies.htm 
    12. https://www.celiac.com/forums/topic/73362-any-help-is-appreciated/
    13. Ford RP. The gluten syndrome: a neurological disease. Med Hypotheses. 2009 Sep;73(3):438-40. Epub 2009 Apr 29.
    14. Hadjivassiliou M, Gibson A, Davies-Jones GA, Lobo AJ, Stephenson TJ, Milford-Ward A. Does cryptic gluten sensitivity play a part in neurological illness? Lancet. 1996 Feb 10;347(8998):369-71.

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    Journal of Clinical Pathologyhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jclinpath-2018-205023