[Neurological diseases associated with celiac disease]

Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 2000 Feb 10;120(4):439-42.
[Article in Norwegian]


During the period from May 1997 to October 1998, eight patients with coeliac disease or dermatitis herpetiformis and neurological disorders were admitted to the Department of Neurology, University Hospital of Bergen. The most frequent conditions were polyneuropathy (seven patients) and spinocerebellar ataxia (three patients). Other conditions were lower motor neuron disease, myelopathy, epilepsy and encephalopathy. The patients used various degrees of gluten-free diet at the time of admission. It remains unclear whether there is a shared common pathogenetic mechanism or the neurological disorder is a complication to the coeliac disease. Both vitamin depletion and immunological mechanisms may cause neurological disorder. Neurological manifestations may occur before the gastrointestinal symptoms. With reference to our patients and available literature we discuss prevalence, clinical picture, pathogenesis, treatment and prognosis. Neurologists, gastroenterologists and general practitioners should be aware that coeliac disease can cause neurological diseases, especially polyneuropathy, cerebellar ataxia and encephalopathy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Celiac Disease / complications*
  • Celiac Disease / diagnosis
  • Dermatitis Herpetiformis / complications
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nervous System Diseases / complications*
  • Nervous System Diseases / diagnosis
  • Nervous System Diseases / etiology
  • Polyneuropathies / complications
  • Polyneuropathies / diagnosis
  • Polyneuropathies / etiology
  • Prognosis
  • Spinal Cord Diseases / complications
  • Spinal Cord Diseases / diagnosis
  • Spinal Cord Diseases / etiology
  • Spinocerebellar Ataxias / complications
  • Spinocerebellar Ataxias / diagnosis
  • Spinocerebellar Ataxias / etiology