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Gastroenterol Res Pract. 2014;2014:293206. doi: 10.1155/2014/293206. Epub 2014 Feb 12.

Gluten sensitivity presenting as a neuropsychiatric disorder.

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1
Faculty of Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6K 4C1.
2
Department of Family Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2C8.

Abstract

There has been increasing recognition in the medical community and the general public of the widespread prevalence of gluten sensitivity. Celiac disease (CD) was initially believed to be the sole source of this phenomenon. Signs and symptoms indicative of nonceliac gluten sensitivity (NCGS), in which classical serum and intestinal findings of CD may be absent, have been frequently reported of late. Clinical manifestations in patients with NCGS are characteristically triggered by gluten and are ameliorated or resolved within days to weeks of commencing a gluten-free diet. Emerging scientific literature contains several reports linking gluten sensitivity states with neuropsychiatric manifestations including autism, schizophrenia, and ataxia. A clinical review of gluten sensitivity is presented alongside a case illustrating the life-changing difference achieved by gluten elimination in a patient with a longstanding history of auditory and visual hallucinations. Physicians in clinical practice should routinely consider sensitivity issues as an etiological determinant of otherwise inexplicable symptoms. Pathophysiologic mechanisms to explain the multisystem symptomatology with gluten sensitivity are considered.

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