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High Levels of Maternal Dietary Antibodies Mean Higher Risk for Non-affective Psychosis in Offspring

Celiac.com 02/13/2013 - A team of researchers wanted to determine whether levels of immunoglobulin G (IgG) were associated with a later diagnosis of a non-affective psychotic disorder.

Photo: CC--flequiThe researchers included H. Karlsson, Å. Blomström, S. Wicks, S. Yang, R.H. Yolken, and C. Dalman. They are affiliated with the Department of Neuroscience at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.

To accomplish their goal, the team analyzed archival dried blood spots taken from newborns in Sweden between 1975 and 1985 with verified register-based diagnoses of non-affective psychoses made between 1987 and 2003 and comparison subjects matched on sex, date of birth, birth hospital, and municipality.

The team reviewed samples from a total of 211 case subjects and 553 comparison subjects who agreed to take part in the study. They pulled data for factors associated with maternal status, pregnancy, and delivery from the Swedish Medical Birth Register.

They used enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to analyze the results for levels of IgG directed at gliadin (a component of gluten) and casein (a milk protein) in eluates from dried blood spots. They then calculated odds ratios for levels of IgG directed at gliadin or casein for non-affective psychosis.

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Comparison subjects associated with non-affective psychosis showed levels of anti-gliadin IgG (but not anti-casein IgG) above the 90th percentile of levels observed (odds ratio=1.7, 95% CI=1.1-2.8).

This connections was not affected by differences in maternal age, immigrant status, or mode of delivery. They also found that gestational age at birth, ponderal index, and birth weight were not associated with maternal levels of anti-gliadin IgG.

From their study, they concluded that high levels of anti-gliadin IgG in the maternal circulation are associated with an elevated risk for the development of a non-affective psychosis in offspring.

They point out that more research is needed to identify the mechanisms underlying this association in order to develop preventive strategies.

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