Celiac.com 04/15/2011 - Celiac disease is associated with various autoimmune and neurological diseases. A team of researchers recently completed a study on the prevalence of celiac disease in a prospective series of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients and their first-degree relatives.
The study team included Luis Rodrigo, Carlos Hernández-Lahoz, Dolores Fuentes, Noemí Alvarez, Antonio López-Vázquez, and Segundo González.
For the study, the team analyzed the prevalence of serological, histological and genetic celiac disease markers in 72 MS patients and 126 of their first-degree relatives. They then compared their results with data from 123 healthy control subjects.
The results showed 7 MS patients (10%) with positive screens for tissue IgA-anti-transglutaminase-2 antibodies, compared with just 3 positive screens for healthy controls (2.4%) (p < 0.05). OR: 5.33 (CI-95%: 1.074-26.425).
The team found no difference in HLA-DQ2 markers between MS patients (29%) and controls (26%) (NS). The team found 8 MS patients (11.1%) with mild or moderate villous atrophy (Marsh III type) in duodenal biopsies. Results also showed celiac disease in 23 of 126 first-degree relatives (32%).
The data showed several other associated diseases, especially dermatitis 41 (57%) and iron deficiency anemia in 28 (39%) MS patients.
MS patients also showed increased frequency of circulating auto-antibodies such as anti-TPO in 19 (26%), ANA in 11 (15%) and AMA in 2 (3%).
The increased prevalence of celiac disease in MS patients and in their first-degree relatives suggests that early detection and dietary treatment of celiac disease in antibody-positive MS patients is advisable.