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Biol Psychiatry. 1997 Jul 1;42(1):72-5.

Autism and celiac disease: failure to validate the hypothesis that a link might exist.

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Clinica Pediatrica, Università di Catania, Italy.


Autism is a heterogeneous condition and the possible pathogenic role of several different factors has been postulated. Association between celiac disease and neurological manifestations such as drug resistant epilepsy and cerebral calcifications is well known. Some authors in the past also reported the existence of a linkage with autism. On the basis of these observations, we have evaluated 120 patients with celiac disease diagnosed at the Pediatric Clinic of the University of Catania, Italy, in order to identify behavioral problems and autistic features: there were 20 controls for this part of the study. At the same time, AGA and AEMAb were assayed in 11 patients with infantile autism and 11 age- and sex-matched controls. No celiac case was detected among the group of autistic patients and, although two of them had slightly increased levels of AGA IgG and AEMAb, subsequent antibodies determinations and jejunal biopsies gave normal results. Moreover none of the celiac patients had a positive DSM-III-R test for infantile autism.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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