Neuropsychiatric manifestations in celiac disease

Epilepsy Behav. 2019 Oct;99:106393. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2019.06.036. Epub 2019 Aug 31.


Celiac disease (CD) is a systemic, chronic immune-mediated disorder elicited by gluten and related prolamines in genetically susceptible subjects. Main manifestations of CD involve the digestive tract; however, a growing body of evidence supports the theory that symptoms may occur in every part of the body. It is known that some patients with CD can be asymptomatic, and additionally, the incidence of "nonclassical" CD with extraintestinal presentation is apparently increasing. We aimed to perform a thorough review of existing evidence for neurological manifestations of CD, providing an up-to-date description of prevalence and examining the pathogenetic mechanisms possibly involved. Neurological presentations are rare in children but as many as 36% of adult patients present with neurological findings. With severe malnutrition after progression of CD, different vitamin deficiencies may develop. Such problems can in turn overlap with previous neurological abnormalities including ataxia, epilepsy, neuropathy, dementia, and cognitive disorders. Here, the most prevalent clinical manifestations in adults and children have been discussed in further detail. Further research is needed to achieve a complete understanding of the nervous system involvement in CD, but clinicians should always remember that neurological and psychiatric symptoms might be part of the CD spectrum of manifestations.

Keywords: Ataxia; Celiac disease; Child; Epilepsy; Neurological manifestations; Neuropathy; Psychiatric manifestation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ataxia / diagnosis
  • Ataxia / epidemiology
  • Ataxia / psychology
  • Celiac Disease / diagnosis
  • Celiac Disease / epidemiology*
  • Celiac Disease / psychology*
  • Child
  • Epilepsy / diagnosis
  • Epilepsy / epidemiology
  • Epilepsy / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Mental Disorders / psychology*