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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    Celiac Disease in Patients with Chronic Psychiatric Disorders

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    Caption: Photo: CC -Jessia Hime

    Celiac.com 05/04/2012 - Some studies have shown that people with untreated celiac disease can have higher rates of psychiatric disorders, but little study has been made to determine whether people with psychiatric disorders have higher rates of celiac disease.

    Photo: CC -Jessia HimeTo answer that question, a team of researchers recently studied celiac disease in patients with chronic psychiatric disorders. The research team included Manouchehr Khoshbaten, Mohammad Rostami Nejad, Nasrin Sharifi, Ali Fakhari, Mahdyar Golamnejad, Sayed Hassan Hashemi, Pekka Collin, and Kamran Rostami

    The team set out to assess rates of celiac disease in Iranian patients suffering from chronic depression or schizophrenia.

    For their study, they screened 200 Iranian inpatient men with in chronic phase of depressive disorders or schizophrenia, along with another 200 age-matched healthy male subjects, for celiac disease using anti-tissue transglutaminase IgA antibodies. The average patient age was 37 years.

    This study found that one (1%) schizophrenic and two (2%) depressive patients tested positive for anti-tissue transglutaminase IgA antibodies. They noted that duodenal biopsy was not possible in these male patients.

    In the control group one (0.5%) individual was positive for anti-tissue transglutaminase IgA antibodies, but had normal duodenal histology. Theere was no statistical difference between patients and control group.

    Celiac disease serology is not significantly higher in schizophrenic and depressive inpatients than in the general population.

    Based on this observation, they do not advocate systematic blood screening in such patients, but they do advocate increased alertness to the possibilities of celiac disease in those patients.

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    Given a rate of celiac thought to be about 1 in 100 (in the UK) a study of 200 against a control of 200 is quite small, surely. 1,000 would give better odds of coming up with a useful recommendation. Even so, three celiacs had been missed amongst the psychiatric patients whose mental state probably improved on going gluten free. If countries cannot afford routine testing, then relatives need to be made aware that they can test privately and why they should.

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    There is no reliable test for gluten sensitivity; yet. Therefore all those researches are useless. It does need to be rocket science to figure out that zonulin is the culprit. That is the reason for most human health and neurological disorders. I am just wondering, when you "professionals" will let the public know that gluten is poison for most people?

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    Interesting article. My husband, who has celiac disease has mental health issues and is on medication for it. My mother has celiac disease and is bi-polar. My husband's mother has not been diagnosed with celiac disease but we feel she has it because she is on seizure medications, has fibromyalgia, and hydroensephilitus, and arthritis....plus she is extremely moody (sorry that is the only way I can describe it.) I am not saying all celiac disease patients are psychiatric patients. And vice versa. But, I too have celiac disease and when I accidentally get glutened, depression hits usually pretty soon after physical symptoms. I think it is a study that needs to be done soon!!! More extensively. Maybe other countries, nationalities need to be studied.

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    I desperately wish my parents and siblings who have health issues ranging from stomach pain to bipolar would just even try the gluten challenge. I have celiac, diagnosed by blood test, by my Lupus doctor. I was told they should get tested but when I tried to tell them, they aren't interested. They just say they can't afford testing and they don't think they could eat gluten free anyway. I try to tell them the benefits of doing it and the dangers of not doing it of they have it, all to no avail. Any hope for such folks? More research would be helpful I think.

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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 science, scientific methodology, biology, anatomy, medicine, logic, and advanced research. 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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