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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    High Rates of Celiac Disease in Multiple Sclerosis Patients

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    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.

    They are affiliated variously with the departments of Gastroenterology, Immunology Services and Neurology at the Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias (HUCA) in Oviedo, Spain.

    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.

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    I wonder how many of those found relief from their MS symptoms once they went gluten free. I was thought to have MS for quite some time and it turned out what I actually had was gluten ataxia.

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    I wonder how many of those found relief from their MS symptoms once they went gluten free. I was thought to have MS for quite some time and it turned out what I actually had was gluten ataxia.

    I had what I thought was the beginning of MS...my right arm/shoulder looked so skinny and atrophied...thankfully, my mom and dad (then I) were diagnosed and it was gluten sensitivity...not even full blown celiac disease! I have muscle back in my arm and shoulder equal to my left side again.

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    Krista, I was as well, thought to have MS till a doctor was smart enough to test for celiac disease. I receive disability because of the episodic nature of having Gluten Ataxia. Because I wasn't diagnosed till I was 51, I probably am about recovered as I'll ever be. But accidental ingestion of gluten throws me back to the couch and using a can for short periods or a wheel chair. My brains are a mess.

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    I agree totally: it is quite likely to be either a wrong diagnosis or could be MS, which includes gluten intolerance, among others. So for anyone reading this and looking for their own answers, please look further than just MS vs. celiac disease and gluten or not gluten. Have a google into Ashton Embry's work on MS diet.

     

    An Elisa test, (York test in the UK), is the way to go to find out once your'e sure that you have something to find.

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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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