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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    Celiac Disease found in 4% of Adult Acetylcholine Receptor Antibody Positive Myasthenia Gravis

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    Celiac.com 11/22/2009 - Celiac disease has been associated with numerous other auto-immune disorders. Recently, there appeared the case of a 40-yr-old competitive strongman with celiac disease, who responded to a gluten-free diet, but developed profound and generalized motor weakness with acetylcholine receptor antibody positive myasthenia gravis, a disorder reported to occur in about 1 in 5000 people.

    A team of researchers set out to further explore this possible relationship between myasthenia gravis and celiac disease via serological study.

    The research team was made up of Hugh J Freeman, Helen R Gillett, Peter M Gillett, Joel Oger of the Department of Medicine (Gastroenterology and Neurology) at Canada's University of British Columbia.

    The researchers performed celiac disease screens on frozen stored serum samples from 23 acetylcholine receptor antibody positive myasthenia gravis patients with no intestinal
    symptoms.

    They examined both endomysial and tissue transglutaminase antibodies. One in 23 samples (or, about 4.3%) tested positive for both IgA-endomysial and IgA tissue transglutaminase antibodies. Subsequent endoscopic study showed duodenal mucosal scalloping, while biopsies confirmed the histopathological changes of celiac disease. 

    From this, they concluded that celiac disease and myasthenia gravis may occur together more often than is currently understood. Muscle weakness in celiac disease may be a sign of possible occult myasthenia gravis, even in the absence of intestinal symptoms.

    Source:
    World J Gastroenterol 2009 October 14; 15(38): 4741-4744


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    I am 52, and I have a Celiac disease, which was diagnosed 2 years ago.

    My mother had MG and Thymoma, she passed away at 68 years of age, after fighting it for 8 years. We had no idea about Celiac disease at that time. After reading this article, I may only suspect (considering my Celiac condition), that most likely she had Celiac as well.

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    I am 52, and I have a Celiac disease, which was diagnosed 2 years ago.

    My mother had MG and Thymoma, she passed away at 68 years of age, after fighting it for 8 years. We had no idea about Celiac disease at that time. After reading this article, I may only suspect (considering my Celiac condition), that most likely she had Celiac as well.

    My father recently died from M.G. I am having some symptoms of celiac disease also. Am curious if they are related.

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    I was diagnosed with Celiac two years ago and MG a year ago. In addition, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's and thyroid cancer six months ago. I definitely believe all of these things are related and am glad the scientists are looking into it also.

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    Guest Christopher Paietta

    Posted

    I was diagnosed with celiac disease, and immediately started a gluten-free diet, which was not very effective, for several years. After a few years I was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis, and it wasn't until I started the MG treatment, that the gluten-free diet became fully effective. They were obviously indirectly affecting each other.

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in biology, anatomy, medicine, science, and advanced research, and scientific methods. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

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