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  • Jefferson Adams

    Gluten Ataxia Patients with Low Titre Antigliadin Antibodies Benefit from Gluten-Free Diet

    Jefferson Adams


    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      Gluten ataxia patients without enteropathy have lower levels of antigliadin antibodies (AGA) compared to patients with celiac disease. Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy shows that those patients see brain improvement with a strict gluten-free diet.


    Caption: Image: CC--purplesteph

    Celiac.com 11/28/2018 - Patients with gluten ataxia without enteropathy have lower levels of antigliadin antibodies (AGA) compared to patients with celiac disease. Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (NAA/Cr area ratio) of the cerebellum improves in patients with gluten ataxia following a strict gluten-free diet, and is associated with an improvement in symptoms. 

    A team of researchers recently set out to present their experience of the effect of a gluten-free diet in patients with ataxia and low levels of AGA antibodies measured by a commercial assay. The research team included Marios Hadjivassiliou, Richard A Grünewald, David S Sanders, Panagiotis Zis, Iain Croall, Priya D Shanmugarajah, Ptolemaios G Sarrigiannis, Nick Trott, Graeme Wild, and Nigel Hoggard. They are variously affiliated with the Academic Departments of Neurosciences and Neuroradiology; the Departments of Gastroenterology, the Departments of Dietetics; the Departments of Immunology, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, in Sheffield, UK.



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    The team conducted MR spectroscopy on 21 consecutive patients with ataxia and serum AGA levels below the positive cut-off for celiac disease, but above a re-defined cut-off in the context of gluten ataxia, at baseline and after a gluten-free diet.  Of the 21 included patients with gluten ataxia, the team found that ten were on a strict gluten-free diet with elimination of AGA, 5 were on a gluten-free diet, but continued to have AGA, while 6 patients did not follow a gluten-free diet. 

    The NAA/Cr area ratio from the cerebellar vermis increased in all patients on a strict gluten-free diet, increased in only 1 out of 5  patients on a gluten-free diet with persisting circulating AGA, and decreased in all patients who did not follow a gluten-free diet. 

    From these results, the team concludes that patients with ataxia and low levels of AGA benefit from a strict gluten-free diet. The results suggest an urgent need to redefine the serological cut-off for circulating AGA in the diagnosis of gluten ataxia.

    Read more in Nutrients 2018, 10(10), 1444; doi:10.3390/nu10101444


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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 2,500 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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