Increased prevalence of anti-gliadin antibodies and anti-tissue transglutaminase antibodies in children with cerebral palsy

J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2009 Oct;49(4):424-9. doi: 10.1097/MPG.0b013e31819a4e52.


Aim and objective: The aim of the study was to investigate whether there is any association between cerebral palsy (CP) and celiac disease (CD) in children.

Patients and methods: Ninety children between 18 months and 18 years of age (median 9 years) with CP were included. Antibodies (IgA and IgG) against gliadin (AGA), endomysium (EMA), and tissue transglutaminase (tTG) were measured. Children with elevated levels of these antibodies were offered a small-bowel biopsy.

Results: Thirty-nine children showed an elevated level of 1 or more of the tested antibodies (43%). None had raised EMA antibodies. Presence of tetraplegia or dyskinesia was associated with increased antibody levels (P=0.045), as was a more severe functional type of CP (P=0.008). Children with elevated antibodies had a lower body weight (P=0.049), height (P=0.041), and body mass index (BMI) (P=0.014). Small-bowel biopsies were performed in 27 out of 39 children; 1 had CD and 2 had intraepithelial lymphocytosis.

Conclusions: A large number of children with CP had elevated AGA and/or anti-tTG. Because these elevations were associated with lower weight, height, and BMI, it seemed of interest to speculate on how these findings correlated to CP and CD. However, we found no correlation between CP and CD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Autoantibodies / blood*
  • Biopsy
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Size
  • Celiac Disease / complications*
  • Celiac Disease / immunology
  • Cerebral Palsy / blood
  • Cerebral Palsy / complications
  • Cerebral Palsy / immunology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Gliadin / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin A / blood*
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood*
  • Infant
  • Intestinal Mucosa / immunology
  • Intestine, Small / immunology
  • Lymphocytosis / complications
  • Male
  • Transglutaminases / immunology*


  • Autoantibodies
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Gliadin
  • Transglutaminases