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Cognitive Impairment and Celiac Disease by Roy Jamron

Celiac.com 10/12/2006 - A new study examined Mayo Clinic medical records for the years 1970 through 2005 to identify eight male and five female patients, aged 45-79, showing cognitive decline within two years of onset or a severe exacerbation of symptoms of biopsy-proven celiac disease. Patients presented with amnesia, acalculia, confusion, and personality changes, and most also had ataxia or peripheral neuropathy. 4 had folate, vitamin B12 and/or vitamin E deficiencies with no improvement upon supplementation. Three improved on a gluten-free diet. It was concluded "A possible association exists between progressive cognitive impairment and celiac disease."

Arch Neurol. Oct 2006;63:1440-1446
Cognitive Impairment and Celiac Disease
William T. Hu, MD, PhD; Joseph A. Murray, MD; Melanie C. Greenaway, PhD;
Joseph E. Parisi, MD; Keith A. Josephs, MST, MD

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This was a limited study. While it looked at folate and vitamins B12 and E, one major oversite of celiac disease research continues to be a dearth of knowledge about levels of essential fatty acids in celiac disease patients. Fat malabsorption is a primary symptom of celiac disease, and the consequences continue to be ignored. Meanwhile, an accumulation of evidence supports the critical role of omega-3 fatty acids in maintaining cognitive and mental health. Omega-3 supplementation has even reversed conditions such as schizophrenia in individuals, begging the question of whether it is gluten toxicity or a fatty acid deficiency that may cause schizophrenia in some celiacs.

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