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Parkinson’s Patient with Celiac Disease Makes Dramatic Recovery on Gluten-free Diet

Celiac.com 09/29/2014 - Can a gluten-free diet lead to dramatic improvement of Parkinsonian symptoms in patients with celiac disease?

Image: Wikimedia Commons.In the January issue of the the Journal of Neurology, researchers Vincenzo Di Lazzaro, Fioravante Capone, Giovanni Cammarota, Daniela Di Giuda, and Federico Ranieri report on the case of a man who saw a dramatic improvement of Parkinsonian symptoms after gluten-free diet.

The researchers are affiliated with the Department of Neurosciences at the Institute of Neurology, Campus Bio-Medico University in Rome, Italy.

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This case is interesting because it supports a growing body of research that indicates that, in some cases, gluten toxicity might adversely impact the nervous system, producing symptoms identical to classical Parkinson’s disease.

The man in question was a 75-year-old Parkinson’s disease patient with silent celiac disease saw major improvements in his symptoms after a 3-month long gluten-free diet.

Noting the positive results in this patient, and the fact that celiac disease often manifests with only neurological symptoms, even in older patients, the researchers are calling for a deeper exploration to determine if there are higher rates of celiac disease in people afflicted with Parkinson’s disease, or the related multi-factorial neurodegenerative condition known as Parkinsonism.

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4 Responses:

 
S
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said this on
06 Oct 2014 2:52:05 PM PDT
I have to take a prescription, which is also used for Parkinsons, for restless legs. I have been getting B vitamin/magnesieum/Folic acid shots, which have really helped my legs. I tried it as the B vitamin shots were something that helped my Grandmother, who could not absorb B vitamins orally. They said she had pernicious anemia. This was 25-30 years ago and we had not heard of celiac, which my aunt also had. I also try to walk a few miles a day but don't always have time. So there is something related to reduced absorption with celiac. I also read somewhere that 34% of celiacs have restless legs. Maybe you could do an article on that?

 
Jefferson
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said this on
15 Oct 2014 6:49:07 PM PDT
Thanks for your comment! Our anti-spam settings prevent me from posting live links in this area, but do a search for 'restless leg' on celiac.com search bar, and you'll see a number of articles on the subject. I hope that helps.

 
J.polley
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said this on
07 Oct 2014 2:41:33 PM PDT
Unaware of this info. Also, do you have any data about gluten sensitivity as related to FODMAPS?
Thank you.

 
Jefferson
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said this on
15 Oct 2014 6:46:55 PM PDT
I can't paste links into this field for anti-spam reasons, but do a search for FODMAPS on celiac.com, and you'll see a number of articles on the subject.




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It took me 20 years or more Barry so I wouldn't claim any great insight on this I had a 'eureka' moment, up until then I was walking around with multiple symptoms and not connecting any dots whatsoever. It is very, very difficult to diagnose and that's something that's reflected in so many of the experiences detailed here. A food diary may help in your case. It helped me to connect the gaps between eating and onset. It could help you to track any gluten sources should you go gluten free. It is possible for your reactions to change over time. As to whether its celiac, that's something you could explore with your doctor, stay on gluten if you choose to go that way. best of luck! Matt

I took Zoloft once. Loved it until it triggered microscopic colitis (colonoscopy diagnosed it). Lexapro did the same. However, I have a family member who is fiagnosed celiac and tolerates Celexa well.

Thanks for the update and welcome to the club you never wanted to join! ?

Jmg, I am glad you were able to come to the realisation that the culprit was in fact gluten. For me its not so simple. IBS runs in the family, as do several food intolerances. Its just in the last while that I can finally reach the conclusion that for me its gluten. The fact that it is a delayed effect-several hours after, made it harder. Friday I had some KFC, felt great. Saturday evening felt sleepy, Sunday felt awful and my belly was huge. I think I have gone from mildly sensitive to full blown celiac over the course of five years-if that possible. Thanks for all your help.

I thought I'd take a moment to provide an update, given how much lurking I've done on these forums the last year. It took a long time, but I've since had another gastroenterologist visit, many months of eating tons of bread, and an endoscopy where they took several biopsies. I have to say, the endoscopy was a super quick and efficient experience. During the procedure they let me know that it looked somewhat suspicious, causing them to take many biopsies, and then did comprehensive blood work. About a month later, I received a call telling me that the TTG came back positive a second time, and that the biopsies were a mix of negative (normal) results and some that were positive (showing blunting of the villi). As a result, I've been given a celiac diagnosis. It's been about a month now that I've been eating gluten free. Not sure if I'm really feeling all that different yet. It's a bit twisted to say, but in some way I was hoping for this diagnosis ? thinking how nice it would be to have an explanation, a plan of action, and feeling better. It's certainly no small change to be totally gluten free, but I'm hopeful.