Celiac.com 07/12/2004 – According to Dr. Nathaniel Zelnik and colleagues from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, in Haifa, Israel, the spectrum of neurological disorders among those with celiac disease are greater than previously thought. The researchers studied 111 responses to questionnaires that probed for the presence of neurological disorders and symptoms, and reviewed the respondents medical records. Those who reported neurological symptoms underwent neurological examination and brain imaging or electroencephalogram, and the results were compared with that of 211 matched controls.
The researchers found that 57 out of 111 (51.4%) of those with celiac disease also developed neurological disorders, compared with only 42 (19.9%) control patients. The neurological manifestations included hypotonia, developmental delay, learning disorders and ADHD, headache, and cerebellar ataxia. Epileptic disorders were also slightly more common among patients with celiac disease. The prevalence of tic disorders between the two groups did not differ. The effects of a gluten-free diet did differ among the various neurological disorders found by the researchers. Dr. Zelnik concludes that the therapeutic benefit of the gluten-free diet was demonstrated only in patients with transient infantile hypotonia and migraine headache.