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  • About Me

    As co-author of "Dangerous Grains" and "Cereal Killers", the study of the impact of gluten continues to be a driving passion in my life. I am fascinated by the way that gluten induces illness and impedes learning while it alters mood, behavior, and a host of other facets of our existence. Sure, the impact of gluten on health is an important issue, but that is only the most obvious area of impact. Mood disturbances, learning disabilities, and the loss of quality of life due to psychiatric and neurological illness are even more tragic than the plethora of physical ailments that are caused or worsened by gluten. The further I go down this rabbit hole, the more I realize that grains are a good food for ruminants - not people. I am a retired school teacher. Over the last decade, I have done some college and university level teaching, but the bulk of my teaching career was spent working with high school students. My Web page is: www.DangerousGrains.com

  • Related Articles

    Jefferson Adams
    What's the Best Way to Treat Immune-mediated Cerebellar Ataxias?
    Celiac.com 12/28/2015 - Immune-mediated cerebellar ataxias include gluten ataxia, paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration, GAD antibody associated cerebellar ataxia, and Hashimoto's encephalopathy.
    Despite the identification of an increasing number of immune-mediated cerebellar ataxias, there is no proposed standardized therapy.
    Recently, a research team set out to develop guidelines for treatment of immune-mediated cerebellar ataxias.
    The research team included H. Mitoma, M. Hadjivassiliou, and J. Honnorat. They are variously associated with the Department of Medical Education at Tokyo Medical University in Tokyo, Japan; the Academic Department of Neurosciences at Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield, UK; the University Lyon 1; INSERM, UMR-S1028, CNRS, UMR-5292, Lyon Neuroscience Research Center, Neuro-Oncology and Neuro-Inflammation Team, 7; and the National Reference Centre for Paraneoplastic Neurological Diseases, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Hôpital neurologique in Bron, France.
    For their study, the team evaluated the efficacies of immunotherapies in reported cases using a common scale of daily activity.
    Their resulting analysis focuses on the importance of removing autoimmune triggers (e.g., gluten or cancer), evaluating immunotherapy (e.g., corticosteroids, intravenous immunoglobulin, immunosuppressants), and adjusting according to each sub-type.
    Source:
    Cerebellum Ataxias. 2015 Nov 10;2:14. doi: 10.1186/s40673-015-0034-y. eCollection 2015.

    Jefferson Adams
    Gluten Triggers 1 in 4 Cases of Sporadic Ataxia
    Celiac.com 01/16/2017 - Cerebellar ataxias can be caused by a wide range of disease processes, either genetic or acquired. Establishing a clear diagnosis requires a methodical approach with expert clinical evaluation and investigation.
    A team of researchers recently published a description of the causes of ataxia in 1500 patients with cerebellar ataxia.  The research team included M Hadjivassiliou, J Martindale, P Shanmugarajah, R A Grünewald, P G Sarrigiannis, N Beauchamp, K Garrard, R Warburton, D S Sanders, D Friend, S Duty, J Taylor, and N Hoggard.
    They are variously affiliated with the Academic Department of Neurosciences, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Sheffield, UK; Sheffield Diagnostic Genetics Service, Sheffield Children's NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield, UK; the Department of Gastroenterology, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Sheffield, UK; and the Department of Neuroradiology, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Sheffield, UK.
    All patients in the study were referred to the Sheffield Ataxia Centre, UK, and underwent extensive examination, including, where appropriate genetic testing using next-generation sequencing (NGS).
    The team followed-up patients on a 6-month basis for reassessment and further investigations, as needed.
    The team assessed a total of 1500 patients over 20 years. Twenty per cent of those patients had a family history of ataxia, with the remaining having sporadic ataxia.
    The most common cause of sporadic ataxia was gluten ataxia at 25%. They found a genetic cause in 156, or 13% of sporadic cases, with alcohol excess causing 12% and a cerebellar variant of multiple system atrophy causing 11% of sporadic cases.
    Using NGS, they obtained positive results in 32% of 146 patients tested. The most common ataxia they found was EA2. A total of 57% of all familial ataxias were supported by genetic diagnosis. The most common genetic ataxias were Friedreich's ataxia (22%), SCA6 (14%), EA2 (13%), SPG7 (10%) and mitochondrial disease (10%).
    The diagnostic yield following attendance at the Sheffield Ataxia Centre was 63%. Immune-mediated ataxias are common. Advances in genetic testing have significantly improved the diagnostic yield of patients suspected of having a genetic ataxia.
    Making a diagnosis of the cause of ataxia is essential due to potential therapeutic interventions for immune and some genetic ataxias.
    Gluten is a culprit is 25% of sporadic ataxia cases, and clinicians should keep this in mind when diagnosing patients, as many of these cases can be reversed with a gluten-free diet.
    Source:
    J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. doi:10.1136/jnnp-2016-314863

    Jefferson Adams
    Can a Gluten-Free Diet Help Ataxia Patients?
    Celiac.com 08/10/2017 - Gluten ataxia is defined as sporadic ataxia with positive antigliadin antibodies without an alternative cause. Gluten ataxia patients often receive MRS at baseline and again after a period on a gluten-free diet.
    A research team recently set out to evaluate the effect of gluten free diet on magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) of the cerebellum in patients with gluten ataxia.
    The research team included M Hadjivassiliou, RA Grünewald, DS Sanders, P Shanmugarajah, N Hoggard. They are with the Academic Departments of Neurosciences (M.H., R.A.G., P.S.), Gastroenterology (D.S.S.), and Neuroradiology (N.H.), Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, UK.
    The team included 117 consecutive patients with gluten ataxia in their report. Sixty-three followed a strict a gluten-free diet with elimination of antigliadin antibodies, 35 ate a gluten-free diet, but still tested positive for antigliadin antibodies, while 19 patients were not following a gluten-free diet.
    The N-acetylaspartate (NAA)/creatine (Cr) area ratio from the cerebellar vermis increased in 62 out of 63 (98%) patients on strict a gluten-free diet, in 9 of 35 (26%) patients on a gluten-free diet, but positive antibodies, and in only 1 of 19 (5%) patients not on a gluten-free diet. The NAA/Cr ratio decreased in all 14 ataxia control patients (cerebellar variant of multisystem atrophy), while the researchers saw no differences in the MRS results between patients with celiac disease and those without.
    Better NAA/Cr ratios seen on follow-up scans supports previous findings that gluten ataxia patients see clinical improvement a gluten-free diet
    Such improvements can occur regardless of existing enteropathy, so patients with positive serology and negative duodenal biopsy should still maintain a strict a gluten-free diet.
    Source:
    Neurology. 2017 Jul 19. pii: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000004237.doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000004237.

    Jefferson Adams
    Does Autoimmunity Play a Role in Cerebellar Ataxia with Sensory Ganglionopathy?
    Celiac.com 01/15/2018 - Cerebellar ataxia with sensory ganglionopathy is a disabling combination of neurological dysfunction that usually occurs as part of certain hereditary ataxias. However, some patients present this combination with no apparent genetic cause.
    A team of researchers recently set out to if autoimmunity might have a role to play in SG. The research team included Panagiotis Zis, Ptolemaios Georgios Sarrigiannis, Dasappaiah Ganesh Rao, Nigel Hoggard, David Surendran Sanders, and Marios Hadjivassiliou. They are variously affiliated with the Academic Department of Neurosciences, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield, UK; the University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK; the Department of Neuroradiology, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundaiton Trust, Sheffield, UK; the University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK; and the Academic Unit of Gastroenterology, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield, UK.
    The team reviewed records of all patients that have been referred to the Sheffield Ataxia Centre who had neurophysiological and imaging data suggestive of SG and cerebellar ataxia respectively. We excluded patients with Friedreich's ataxia, a common cause of this combination. All patients were screened for genetic causes and underwent extensive investigations.
    They found 40 patients with combined cerebellar ataxia and sensory ganglionopathy. The majority of patients were initially diagnosed with cerebellar dysfunction, and about one-third were initially diagnosed with sensory ganglionopathy.
    For that one-third, the two diagnoses were made together. The average time between the two diagnoses was 6.5 ± 8.9 years, ranging from 0 up to 44 years. The most common initial symptom was unsteadiness, in 77.5% of patients, followed by patchy sensory loss in 17.5%, and peripheral neuropathic pain in 5%.
    Nineteen patients had gluten sensitivity, of whom 3 patients had biopsy proven celiac disease. Other abnormal immunological tests were present in another 15 patients. Six patients had malignancy, which was diagnosed within 5 years of the neurological symptoms. Only 3 patients were classified as having a truly idiopathic combination of cerebellar ataxia with sensory ganglionopathy.
    This study shows that immune pathogenesis plays a significant role in patients with the unusual combination of cerebellar ataxia and sensory ganglionopathy.
    Source:
    Cerebellum & Ataxias 20174:20

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