Epilepsy and celiac disease: favorable outcome with a gluten-free diet in a patient refractory to antiepileptic drugs

Neurologist. 2006 Nov;12(6):318-21. doi: 10.1097/01.nrl.0000250950.35887.6c.


Background: There is a well-documented relationship between epilepsy and celiac disease, including a syndrome characterized by epilepsy, occipital calcifications, and celiac disease.

Review summary: We report the case of a 23-year-old woman with an 11-year history of refractory epileptic seizures and newly diagnosed biopsy-proven celiac disease with increased antiendomysium immunoglobulin A antibodies. The patient showed a dramatic improvement after starting a gluten-free diet.

Conclusion: This case emphasizes the need to include celiac disease in the differential diagnosis when investigating the etiology of epilepsy in refractory patients.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Calcinosis / etiology
  • Calcinosis / physiopathology
  • Celiac Disease / complications*
  • Celiac Disease / diet therapy
  • Celiac Disease / pathology
  • Celiac Disease / physiopathology
  • Diet, Reducing / methods*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsy / diet therapy*
  • Epilepsy / etiology*
  • Epilepsy / pathology
  • Epilepsy / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin A / blood
  • Occipital Lobe / pathology


  • Immunoglobulin A