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Gluten Sensitivity May Trigger Sensory Ganglionopathy


New study on gluten sensitivity sensory ganglionopathy.

Celiac.com 10/28/2010 - A team of researchers recently found that gluten sensitivity can play a role in triggering a certain type of neurologic dysfunction, called sensory ganglionopathy, and that the condition may respond to a strict gluten-free diet.

The team conducted a retrospective observational case study on 409 patients with different types of peripheral neuropathies, including seventeen patients with sensory ganglionopathy and gluten sensitivity.

The research team was made up of M. Hadjivassiliou, MD, D.G. Rao, MD, S.B. Wharton, PhD, D.S. Sanders, MD, R.A. Grünewald, DPhil, and A.G.B. Davies-Jones, MD. They are affiliated variously with the Departments of Neurology, Neurophysiology, Neuropathology, and Gastroenterology at Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield, UK.

Neurological issues are common in people with celiac disease and gluten-sensitivity. On eof the most common neurological issues in these people is called peripheral neuropathy. The most common type of neuropathy seen in people with gluten sensitivity is sensorimotor axonal.

The team reviewed data on 409 patients with different types of peripheral neuropathies. All of these patients had been followed for a number of years in dedicated gluten sensitivity/neurology and neuropathy clinics.

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Fifty-three of these patients (13%) showed clinical and neurophysiologic evidence of sensory ganglionopathy. Seventeen of these fifty-three patients (32%) showed positive blood screens for gluten sensitivity.

The median age of those with gluten sensitivity was 67 years, with symptom onset starting at 58 years on average.

Seven of those with positive blood screen evidence gluten sensitivity showed enteropathy upon biopsy. Fifteen patients went on a gluten-free diet, resulting in stabilization of the neuropathy in eleven of the fifteen.

The remaining four patients did not follow the gluten-free diet and their conditions worsened, as did the two patients who declined dietary treatment. Autopsy tissue from three patients showed inflammation in the dorsal root ganglia with degeneration of the posterior columns of the spinal cord.

These results led the team to conclude that sensory ganglionopathy can result from gluten sensitivity and may respond positively to a strict gluten-free diet.

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4 Responses:

 
Pattymack
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
01 Nov 2010 8:04:37 AM PDT
Good to see research and articles on gluten sensitivity as a separate (from CD) condition.

 
Rosemary Melcher
Rating: ratingfullratingemptyratingemptyratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
02 Nov 2010 9:55:38 AM PDT
What does ganglionopathy mean? What are the symptoms? I am 78, diagnosed with celiac 6 years ago and have trouble enough understanding a gluten-free diet, let alone medical words. Can you help an elderly declining brain? Is a declining brain a symptom of celiac?

 
Mary McBender

said this on
27 Jun 2013 2:45:59 PM PDT
It looks like Rosemary is still waiting for an answer, after almost 3 years. Shame on the authors and the website for not caring about feedback and questions. I think the question is quite legitimate! Or is this forum only for MDs?

 
Gryphon
( Author)
said this on
27 Jun 2013 4:08:28 PM PDT
This is not a forum - we request that people not post questions in comments specifically for this reason. We have a forum for such questions: http://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/




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Wish I could give you a hug. Unfortunately I know how that feels with Neurologists, Internists, Endocrinologists, Rheumatologists, GIs..... I got so tired of crying my drive home after refusing yet another script for Prozac. I do hope your GI can give you some answers even if it is just to rule out other possible issues. Keep on the gluten and we are here for you.

It is too bad that so often a full panel isn't done. Glad your appointment got moved up and hopefully you will get a clearer answer from the GI. Do keep eating gluten until the celiac testing is done. Once the testing is done do give the diet a good strict try. Hang in there.

That makes sense...I cried with relief when I got my diagnosis just because there was finally an answer. Please know that you are not weak or crazy. Keep pushing for testing. It could still be celiac, it could be Crohns. Push your Dr's to figure this out. Best wishes.

Thank you all very much. I actually cried when I got the answer. I wanted an explanation that I could "fix." Now I'm back to thinking I'm just weak and possibly crazy. I know I'm not crazy, but you know.

From what I have read online there is about a 1-3% chance of getting a false positive for celiac disease from a blood test. Was it a blood test that you got done? It may be worth your while to get a biopsy or more testing just to confirm it. I know being gluten free is a pain but it is better than getting cancer or other auto immune disorders.