No popular authors found.


Get Celiac.com's E-Newsletter

Categories

No categories found.







Ads by Google:


Questions? Join Our Forum:
~1 Million Posts
& Over 66,000 Members!



SHARE THIS PAGE:
Celiac.com Sponsors:

Israeli Researchers Propose Link Between Gluten and ALS

Celiac.com 04/23/2015 - It's well-known that many people with celiac disease experience neuropathy and other nerve disorders. Now, a team of Israeli researchers are cautiously proposing a link between gluten reactions and ALS.

Photo: CC--SA 3.0The research team, from the Tel Aviv Medical Center, believes that the gluten sensitivity seen in people with celiac disease might have a connection with ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Their study linking tissue transglutaminase 6 antibodies to ALS is the first study to document a connection between ALS and antibodies to a particular enzyme. Also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, ALS is a progressive disease that attacks nerve cells and pathways in the brain and spinal cord, eventually causing paralysis.

In the study, researcher Vivian Drory and her team found antibodies to an enzyme produced in the brain, called tissue transglutaminase 6 (TG6), in 23 out of 150 patients with ALS, but in only five of 115 healthy volunteer subjects. Furthermore, ALS patients showed higher concentrations of those antibodies.

It's well documented that people with celiac disease produce antibodies to another transglutaminase, TG2, when they eat gluten, a protein in wheat, barley and rye. Interestingly, nearly half (45%) of patients with celiac disease also produce antibodies to TG6, even when they have no neurological symptoms.

Droury's team set out to evaluate the prevalence of celiac disease-related antibodies and HLA antigen alleles, as well as TG6 antibodies, in patients with ALS and healthy individuals serving as controls to determine whether a neurologic presentation of a gluten-related disorder mimicking ALS might occur in some patients.

They conducted a case-control study in an ALS tertiary center, where they measured serum levels of total IgA antibodies, IgA antibodies to transglutaminase 2 (TG2) and endomysium, along with IgA and IgG antibodies to deamidated gliadine peptide and TG6 and performed HLA antigen genotyping in 150 consecutive patients with ALS and 115 healthy volunteers of similar age and sex.

Study subjects did not have any known autoimmune or gastroenterologic disorder, and none was receiving any immunomodulatory medications.

The team found that ALS patients with antibodies to TG6 showed the classic picture of ALS and the typical rate of disease progression. The volunteers with antibodies to TG6 showed no signs of any disease.

Ads by Google:

All patients and control group participants were seronegative to IgA antibodies to TG2, endomysium, and deamidated gliadine peptide. Twenty-three patients (15.3%) were seropositive to TG6 IgA antibodies as opposed to only 5 controls (4.3%) (P = .004). The patients seropositive for TG6 showed a classic picture of ALS, similar to that of seronegative patients.

The team tested fifty patients and 20 controls for celiac disease-specific HLA antigen alleles; 13 of 22 TG6 IgA seropositive individuals (59.1%) tested seropositive for celiac disease-related alleles compared with 8 (28.6%) of the 28 seronegative individuals (P = .04).

Average levels of IgA antibodies to TG6 were 29.3 (30.1) in patients and 21.0 (27.4) in controls (P = .02; normal, <26). Average levels of IgA antibodies to TG2 were 1.78 (0.73) in patients and 1.58 (0.68) in controls (normal, <10). In a subset of study participants, mean levels of deamidated gliadin peptide autoantibodies were 7.46 (6.92) in patients and 6.08 (3.90) in controls (normal, <16).

None of the ALS patients or volunteers had the antibodies to TG2 that are commonly associated with celiac disease, but the ALS patients were more likely to show the genetic mutations that put them at risk for celiac disease.

Drory said her team has begun to study TG6 antibody levels in patients newly diagnosed with ALS, and they will be testing the effects of a gluten-free diet in some of those that test positive. However, theirs is just one report, and Drory expects it will be at least a couple of years before the team has any solid results. Her team is also inviting further input from other centers, and study of their data.

In the meantime, she warns ALS patients against adopting a gluten-free diet without "clear evidence of antibodies," because any imbalance of diet might prove harmful. It's also worth remembering that an association is not the same as a cause. At least one earlier study concluded that there was no association between TG6 antibodies and either neurological disease or gluten itself.

The possibility of a link between celiac disease and a degenerative nerve disease like ALS is interesting, to say the least. The findings of this team will likely invite more examination of any connection between gluten reactions and nerve disorders, so stay tuned for any follow-up news.

Source:

Celiac.com welcomes your comments below (registration is NOT required).












Related Articles



4 Responses:

 
Mary
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
23 Apr 2015 1:13:44 PM PST
This is fascinating!

 
Glenna Adams
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
28 Apr 2015 2:52:36 PM PST
Very interesting article.

 
Craig
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
29 Apr 2015 7:33:51 AM PST
We need these tests on more diseases to understand the extent of the damage done by gluten.

 
Peggy
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
15 Feb 2016 7:51:12 AM PST
In my mid 20's I had 3 doctors in 3 states tell me, "We are pretty sure you have MS. When I was diagnosed with celiac at 49, I went on the GF diet cold turkey with absolutely NO cheating. Within 3 weeks my stomach felt normal, in 3 months the borderline 'intermittent type 1 auto immune diabetes' that I had since I was 15 went into complete remission, and within 7 months the muscle weakness in my arms, legs and face were gone!

One of my friends who was a baker, and who used pure "Vital Wheat Gluten" powder in his pastries died of ALS so quickly. This article points to the gluten possibly being a contributor to his death.




Rate this article and leave a comment:
Rating: * Poor Excellent
Your Name *: Email (private) *:




In Celiac.com's Forum Now:


Some people, like me, never get a positive on the TTG (even on follow-up Testing) and I stated that some celiacs (10%) have negative tests results period. Your doctor is doing the colonoscopy. Ask him if he is going into the small intestine via that route.

Yep. Initially I had the full panel. DGP was the only positive and it's the only one my doctor orders now.

Well I wish mine was dia. earlier, I got all kinds of other food issues, and other auto immune disease that came up as complications. If you deal with and change over now you can prevent a even more limited diet. I was running a bucket list thinking I was going to die before my dia. I had slight ...

So, do they just test your DGP like they just test my TTG?

The only test I have had done is the TTG because that's what I had done initially after taking matters into my own hands and going to my local health fair. Celiac is so common they do that screening at our health fair. My number was so high that my doctor didn't order other labs and went straight...