Gluten sensitivity is a systemic autoimmune disease with diverse manifestations. This disorder is characterized by abnormal immunological responsiveness to ingested gluten in genetically susceptible individuals.
Celiac disease, or gluten-sensitive enteropathy [inflammation of & damage to the nutrient-absorbing villi lining the intestine], is only one aspect of a range of possible manifestations of gluten sensitivity.
Although neurological manifestations in patients with established celiac disease have been reported since 1966, it was not until 30 years later that, in some individuals, gluten sensitivity was shown to manifest solely with neurological dysfunction. [Examples being peripheral neuropathy (tingling or numb hands & feet), and behavioral changes such as anxiety or depression.]
Furthermore, the concept of extraintestinal presentations without enteropathy has only recently become accepted.
In this Personal View, we review the range of neurological manifestations of gluten sensitivity and discuss recent advances in the diagnosis and understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying neurological dysfunction related to gluten sensitivity.
Source: The Lancet Neurology, March 2010;9(3), pp 318-330. Hadjivassiliou M, Sanders DS, Grunewald RA, Woodroofe N, boscolo s, Aeschlimann D. Departments of Neurology and Gastroenterology, Royal Hallamshire Hospital; Biomedical Research Centre, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK; Department of life Sciences, University of Trieste, Italy; Matrix Biology and Tissue Repair Research Unit, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK. [Email: firstname.lastname@example.org]