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World J Biol Psychiatry. 2013 Sep;14(7):509-15. doi: 10.3109/15622975.2012.747699. Epub 2013 Jan 3.

Elevated gliadin antibody levels in individuals with schizophrenia.

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Mood and Anxiety Program, University of Maryland School of Medicine , Baltimore , MD USA.



We aimed to replicate, in a larger sample and in a different geographical location, the previously reported elevation of anti-gliadin IgG antibodies in schizophrenia.


A total of 950 adults with schizophrenia (severity assessed by PANSS) and 1000 healthy controls were recruited in the Munich metropolitan area. Anti-gliadin IgG antibodies were analyzed with ELISA. χ(2)-tests and logistic regression were used to analyze the association of schizophrenia with elevated anti-gliadin IgG. A multivariable general linear model was used to compare anti-gliadin IgG levels between patients and controls.


The odds ratio of having elevated anti-gliadin IgG antibodies in the schizophrenia group was 2.13 (95% CI 1.57 to 2.91, p < 0.0001). Mean anti-gliadin IgG levels were higher in schizophrenia patients (0.81 ± 0.79 vs. 0.52 ± 0.56, t = 9.529, df = 1,697, p < 0.0001) and the difference persisted after adjusting for potential confounders.


Our study, limited by its cross sectional design, confirmed an association between anti-gliadin IgG antibodies and schizophrenia. Replication in longitudinal studies, clinical trials of gluten free diet and mechanistic investigation could lead to novel treatment targets, preventive and therapeutic considerations in schizophrenia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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