Send to

Choose Destination
J Pediatr. 2008 Feb;152(2):244-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2007.06.042. Epub 2007 Nov 19.

Low prevalence of neurologic and psychiatric manifestations in children with gluten sensitivity.

Author information

Department of Pediatrics, University of Catania, Catania, Italy; Institute of Neurological Sciences, National Research Council, Catania, Italy.



To determine the frequency of neurologic manifestations in children with gluten sensitivity (GS) and the frequency of GS in children with neurologic disease.


A total of 835 children with GS (based on positive titers for serum anti-gliadin antibody [AGA], anti-endomysial antibody [EMA], and anti-tissue transglutamine [tTG] antibody and a positive gut biopsy), representing the local childhood GS population in the town of Catania, Italy, were recruited, prospectively followed up, and screened for neurologic and psychiatric disturbances between 1991 and 2004. Serum AGA, EMA, and anti-tTG antibody titers were estimated in a prevalence sample of 630 consecutive children with neurologic disorders of unknown cause despite full investigation, 300 children with known neurologic syndromes, and 300 healthy children who served as controls. Statistical significance was assessed by the chi(2) test and Yates' chi(2) test.


Neurologic or psychiatric problems were noted in 15 of 835 children with GS (1.79%) with previously diagnosed GS enteropathy (GSE). In 7 of 630 children (1.1%) with a cryptogenic neurologic disorder, GS was identified based on GS autoantibody screening. These 22 children had febrile seizures, epilepsy, headache, mental retardation, neuropathy, and bipolar disorder; no children had ataxia or cerebellar disturbances. The HLAs were DQ2 (n = 16), DQ8 (n = 4), and DQ2/DQ8 (n = 2). Two of the 300 healthy controls (0.66%) had GS.


Based on our findings, the prevalence of neurologic/psychiatric manifestations in this group of children with GS was low but slightly higher than that in the controls (P = .041). Children with known (P = .772) and cryptogenic (P = 1.0) neurologic disorders did not exhibit a higher prevalence of GS.

Comment in

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center