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    Scott Adams
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    The Association between Schizophrenia, Celiac Disease and the Gluten-Free Diet

    Acta Psychiatr Scand 2005: 1-9. C 2005 Blackwell Munksgaard.

    Celiac.com 02/09/2006 – After a review of the medical literature, researchers have concluded that many cases of schizophrenia are related to celiac disease or gluten intolerance, and can be successfully treated using a gluten-free diet. Like celiac disease, schizophrenia affects approximately 1% of the population. It is considered one of the top 10 causes of disability worldwide. In many studies the researchers found that in a subset of patients a drastic reduction or total elimination of schizophrenic symptoms occurred after they were treated with a strict gluten-free diet. Based on this the researchers believe that a gluten-free diet may serve as a "safe and economical alternative for the reduction of symptoms in a subset of patients." They conclude: "Large-scale epidemiological studies and clinical trials are needed to confirm the association between gluten and schizophrenia, and address the underlying mechanisms by which this association occurs."


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    I have been living with undiagnosed celiac disease for 53 years. Recent flareups along with my children have finally helped me find some answers. All four of my children have these problems--1 has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and 2 have schizo affect disorders. Finally perhaps I can really find some answers for them.

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    and yet, if you go on schizophrenia.org www.schizophrenia.com/prevention/celiac.html the findings are that it is highly unlikely that these are related, and only a very minute percentage saw any changes in schizophrenic symptoms. i guess you believe who you choose. it would be nice if we could solve all the woes of the world by cutting out wheat. coinciding instances do not equal fact. please do more research before you have people using these ideas as gospel - dangerous stuff.

    "The link between celiac disease (a disorder in which the body has an allergic response to a gluten found in grains, leading to damage of the absorbent villi fingers that line the intestinal tract) and schizophrenia is suggestive, but questionable. If there is such a link, celiac disease certainly does not cause the symptoms of schizophrenia for more than a handful of individuals, given the low incidence of both disorders."

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    and yet, if you go on schizophrenia.org www.schizophrenia.com/prevention/celiac.html the findings are that it is highly unlikely that these are related, and only a very minute percentage saw any changes in schizophrenic symptoms. i guess you believe who you choose. it would be nice if we could solve all the woes of the world by cutting out wheat. coinciding instances do not equal fact. please do more research before you have people using these ideas as gospel - dangerous stuff.

    "The link between celiac disease (a disorder in which the body has an allergic response to a gluten found in grains, leading to damage of the absorbent villi fingers that line the intestinal tract) and schizophrenia is suggestive, but questionable. If there is such a link, celiac disease certainly does not cause the symptoms of schizophrenia for more than a handful of individuals, given the low incidence of both disorders."

    Dr. Dohan was apparently quite a courageous and good man who never gave up attempting to convince 'the establishment' of the

    connection. One theory is that he was overrun by the force of the

    industry and lobbies built on wheat. If so, it would hardly be the first

    time truth was deemed 'inconvenient'. His son, also a doctor, appears to be carrying the baton in the course of his own practice.

    Some of us - from families beset for generations by both schizophrenia and celiac - happen to believe he was right on target.

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  • About Me

    In 1994 I was diagnosed with celiac disease, which led me to create Celiac.com in 1995. I created this site for a single purpose: To help as many people as possible with celiac disease get diagnosed so they can begin to live happy, healthy gluten-free lives. Celiac.com was the first site on the Internet dedicated solely to celiac disease. In 1998 I founded The Gluten-Free Mall, Your Special Diet Superstore!, and I am the co-author of the book Cereal Killers, and founder and publisher of Journal of Gluten Sensitivity.

  • Related Articles

    Scott Adams
    Celiac.com 09/01/2002 - Patients with celiac disease are 20 times more likely than the general population to have epilepsy and often have associated cerebral and cerebellar calcifications imaged by CT and MRI. Depression, dementia, and schizophrenia are all also common in persons with untreated celiac disease. Cerebellar degeneration with resulting ataxia (gluten-associated ataxia) is a known entity in Europe, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is currently recruiting subjects with ataxia to examine them for gluten sensitivity and celiac disease. Focal white matter lesions in the brain recently have been reported to occur in children with celiac disease and are thought to be either ischemic in origin as a result of vasculitis or caused by inflammatory demyelination. Parents of children with celiac disease have reported behavioral changes such as irritability, separation anxiety, emotional withdrawal, and autistic-like behaviors that all seemed to improve on a GFD. Although not scientifically validated, the GFD is now also being advocated for children with autism by several groups. Whether or not children with autism are at a higher risk for celiac disease or celiac children have a higher incidence of autism remains to be proven. However, children with Down syndrome, who often have autistic-like behaviors, are at higher risk for celiac disease. It has been hypothesized that gluten may be broken down into small peptides that may cross the blood-brain barrier and interact with morphine receptors, leading to alterations in conduct and perceptions of reality.
    The serologic tests can be divided into 4 different types of antibodies: antigliadin (AGA), antireticulin, antiendomysium (AEA), and antitissue transglutaminase (tTG). Each antibody varies widely in its sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values (Table 2).
    Table 2 (from Pietzak et al, 2001, compiled data from multiple studies)

    Test Sensitivity Specificity PPV NPD AGA IgG 57-100 42-98 20-95 41-88 AGA IgA 53-100 65-100 28-100 65-100 AEA IgA* 75-98 96-100 98-100 80-95 Guinea pig tTG† 90.2 95 Human tTG† 98.5 98 * Patients older than 2 years of age.
    † IgG +IgA antibodies.

    The AEA IgA immunofluorecent antibody is an excellent screening test for celiac disease, with both a high sensitivity and specificity. This antibody was discovered in the early 1980s and rapidly gained use as part of a screening celiac panel by commercial laboratories in combination with AGA IgG and AGA IgA. Its major drawbacks are that it may be falsely negative in children under the age of 2 years, in patients with IgA deficiency, and in the hands of an inexperienced laboratory. Also, the substrate for this antibody was initially monkey esophagus, making it expensive and unsuitable for screening large numbers of people. Recently, the human umbilical cord has been used as an alternative to monkey esophagus. However, the subjective nature of the AEA assay may lead to false-negative values and unacceptable variability between laboratories.
    Because tTG had been first described as the autoantigen of celiac disease in 1997, it has been used to develop innovative diagnostic tools. The tTG IgA ELISA test is highly sensitive and specific, using either the commercially available guinea pig tTG or human recombinant tTG. The tTG assay correlates well with AEA-IgA and biopsy. However, it represents an improvement over the AEA assay because it is inexpensive and rapid (30 minutes), is not a subjective test, and can be performed on a single drop of blood using a dot-blot technique. Therefore, this test is ideally suited for mass screenings and in the future could be performed in the general practitioners office, much like the now routine finger-stick hematocrit.
    For the reasons outlined above, the IgA class human anti-tTg antibody, coupled with the determination of total serum IgA, currently seems to be the most cost-effective way to screen for celiac disease. AEA should be used as a confirmatory, pre-biopsy test, whereas AGA determinations should be restricted to the diagnostic work-up of younger children and patients with IgA deficiency, using the guidelines in Table 3.
    Table 3
    Probability of celiac disease based on three antibodies in combination
    AEA IgA AGA IgA AGA IgG Interpretation + + + Celiac disease 99% probable + - + probable + + - Celiac disease probable + - - Celiac disease probable - + + Celiac disease less likely* - - + Celiac disease less likely* - + - Celiac disease less likely - - - Celiac disease very unlikely+ * If patient is IgA sufficient: AGA IgG > 100 warrants work-up of enteropathy.
    + If patient is on a gluten-containing diet.
    Celiac disease: AEA, antiendomysium antibodies: AGA, antigliadin antibodies.

    Scott Adams
    American Journal of Psychiatry 163:521-528, March 2006
    Celiac.com 03/14/2006 – Danish researchers have found yet another link between celiac disease and schizophrenia. In a large epidemiologic study the researchers looked at 7,704 Danish people who were diagnosed with schizophrenia between 1981 and 1998, including their parents, and matched them to comparison control subjects. The data linkage required that the autoimmune disease be diagnosed before the diagnosis of schizophrenia. The researchers found that patients with a history of an autoimmune disease had a 45% increased risk for schizophrenia, and nine autoimmune disorders were indicators of a higher prevalence for schizophrenia when compared to the controls. The researchers conclude: “Schizophrenia is associated with a larger range of autoimmune diseases than heretofore suspected. Future research on co-morbidity has the potential to advance understanding of pathogenesis of both psychiatric and autoimmune disorders.”

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 04/29/2009 - A team of researchers based at UK's prospective University of Highlands and Islands (UHI) have found a link between gluten and schizophrenia. According to their latest findings, proteins found in the gluten of wheat, rye and barley might play a role in triggering schizophrenia in people with a genetic risk for the condition, or in worsening symptoms in people who have the disease.
    The research team has been looking into the role played by gluten in schizophrenia and diabetes, as well as hunting for connections between the two disorders. Their research showed that the bodies of certain schizophrenia sufferers could not properly processes gluten, which led to tissue damage.
    As a result of these and other findings, researchers now consider genetic risk factors, together with environmental triggers, to be central to development of both schizophrenia and diabetes. Gluten is one such example.
    According to senior researcher and reader in genetics, Dr. Jun Wei, more than one-third of all people with schizophrenia show "high levels of antibodies against wheat gluten," and may experience some improvement in symptoms with a gluten-free diet.
    Though the studies are still in their early stages, the hypothesis is encouraging, because, as noted by head of UHI department of diabetes and cardiovascular science, Prof Ian Megson, if it is correct, "a simple change in diet might prevent these diseases...in some individuals."
    The research is part of two comprehensive studies at UHI into the connections between schizophrenia and diabetes, and the role played by gluten, and is supported by a £300,000 grant from the Schizophrenia Association of Great Britain (SAGB).
    It would be interesting to see more research done on the connection between celiac disease and schizophrenia, as other studies have indicated that there is a link.

    Source: BBC News


    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 05/29/2014 - Many people with celiac disease report symptoms of depression, which usually subside upon treatment with a gluten-free diet. But a new study out of Australia suggests that gluten can cause depression in people with non-celiac gluten-sensitivity.
    Current evidence shows that many patients with self-reported non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) continue to have gastrointestinal symptoms on a gluten-free diet, but say that avoiding gluten makes them feel ‘better'. So, why do people with non-celiac gluten sensitivity seem to feel better on a gluten-free diet, even if they still have gastrointestinal symptoms? A team of researchers wanted to know if this might be due to gluten’s effects on the mental state of those with NCGS, and not necessarily because of gastrointestinal symptoms.
    The research team included S. L. Peters, J. R. Biesiekierski, G. W. Yelland, J. G. Muir, and P. R. Gibson. They are affiliated with the Department of Gastroenterology, Central Clinical School of Monash University at The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, the Department of Gastroenterology at the Eastern Health Clinical School of Monash University in Box Hill, and the School of Health Sciences at RMIT University in Bundoora, Victoria, Australia.
    For their double-blind cross-over study, they looked at 17 women and five men, aged 24–62 years. All participants suffered from irritable bowel syndrome, but not from celiac disease, and their symptoms were controlled on a gluten-free diet. The team gave the participants one of three random dietary challenges over 3 days, followed by a minimum 3-day washout before moving to the next diet. All participants got all three diets over the course of the study.
    For each phase, the team supplemented the challenge gluten-free food with gluten, (16 g/day), whey (16 g/day) or nothing at all (placebo). The team assessed mental state as determined by the Spielberger State Trait Personality Inventory (STPI), cortisol secretion and gastrointestinal symptoms.
    They found that gluten ingestion was associated with higher overall STPI state depression scores compared to placebo [M = 2.03, 95% CI (0.55–3.51), P = 0.010], but not whey [M = 1.48, 95% CI (−0.14 to 3.10), P = 0.07]. They found no differences for other STPI state indices or for any STPI trait measures, and they saw no difference in cortisol secretion between challenges. Gastrointestinal symptoms were similar for each dietary challenge.
    Short-term exposure to gluten specifically induced current feelings of depression with no effect on other indices or on emotional disposition. Moreover, the team saw no gluten-specific trigger of gastrointestinal symptoms. Such findings might explain why patients with non-coeliac gluten sensitivity feel better on a gluten-free diet despite the continuation of gastrointestinal symptoms.
    Source:
    Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2014;39(10):1104-1112.

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    Thank you GFinDC. Question. When you say, "quick rinse", can you define what is safe for us to use when washing our fruits and veggies? I know that might sound like something I should know but I am seriously taking no chances (at least not on purpose). I've been buying organic produce because I was told I needed to. Do you find that to be true or do I need to find a new nutritionist? 😉
    Hi Wade, You areright, there are lots of little gotchas out there in the gluten-filled world.  That's why it is easier/safer to stick with whole foods at the beginning of the gluten-free diet.  The list of ingredients on an apple or an orange or a steak is usually real short.  So you can get out of the grocery store quicker by eating whole foods like those.  Plain frozen veggies or canned are usually safe too.  And fresh produce as long as you give it a quick rinse.
    Why....why would your doctor not follow the standard of care for testing celiac disease?  I think you need to think about  finding another doctor.  If you are in the US, you can “walk” into a lab and order the test and pay cash: https://labtestsonline.org/tests/celiac-disease-antibody-tests No, your result does not significantly lower your odds of getting a celiac disease diagnosis.  She ordered the LEAST commonly used test, especially since she only ordered that one alone.  I think she thinks you do not have celiac disease, but that you may have a gluten sensitivity.  But that is wrong!  There is no test for gluten sensitivity.  http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/screening/ https://www.mayocliniclabs.com/it-mmfiles/Celiac_Disease_Diagnostic_Testing_Algorithm.pdf https://celiac.org/about-celiac-disease/screening-and-diagnosis/screening/ https://www.verywellhealth.com/celiac-disease-blood-tests-562694 https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diagnostic-tests/celiac-disease-health-care-professionals I am not a doctor though.  Perhaps, you can ask her why she did not order the complete panel or at least the screening tests most often ordered for celiac disease. Know that some celiacs are asymptomatic (no symptoms) Some just have one symptom.  Some have classic symptoms.  I presented with only anemia and no GI symptoms with only a positive on the DGP IgA.    I hope this helps.  
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