Section 4 of Part 2: How Abnormal Neurological Findings Associated With A Gluten Intolerance Could Be Responsible For Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig’s Disease Symptoms

March 15, 2011 · Filed Under ALS 

Gluten Intolerance can cause neurological damage throughout the body. Initially, the immune system reacts against gluten, but then cross reacts against tissue and cells in the peripheral and central nervous system. Sometimes, the damage can be permanent. Other times, it resolves once a strict gluten-free diet is maintained (it can take a year or more to work). As well, nutrient supplements may be required to treat deficiencies and other allergies may need to be identified and treated.

With a gluten intolerance, some abnormal findings on tests can include abnormal brain waves on electroencephalography (EEG), unusual cerebellar (part of brain) physiology, hypoperfused brain regions (decreased blood flow), brain atrophy (decreased size), inflammation, patchy Purkinje cell (out-put neurons) loss in the cerebellum, and progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy leading to destruction of myelin sheaths that support neuronal impulses. Other findings include lymphocytic (immune system players) infiltration of the cerebellum and peripheral nerves, damage to the posterior columns of the spinal cord, and widespread IgA deposition around vessels in the brain (showing immune activity). As well, brain white-matter lesions or calcifications, likely resulting from autoimmune reactions, calcium deposits, ischemia (inadequate blood supply), vasculitis (inflammation of blood vessels), or inflammatory demyelination, can occur.

These findings can result in many neurological symptoms throughout the body that can be similar to ALS symptoms. Since ALS is a neurological disease, it is reasonable to suspect that the damage evident with a gluten intolerance may also be responsible for the symptoms associated with ALS. Patient’s dealing with this condition may want to take steps to rule out this possibility by testing for a gluten intolerance along with testing for other allergies and for any nutrient deficiencies (underlying celiac disease can cause this). The rest of this series of posts will discuss other possibilities as well.

Gluten ataxia is one type of gluten intolerance that can occur. The neurological damage with gluten ataxia results from immunological damage to the cerebellum, posterior columns of the spinal cord, and peripheral nerves. This can lead to neurological symptoms throughout the body.

If you subscribe to my blog (see upper right corner), you should be notified each time I post a new blog post. Please review all of your symptoms with a medical doctor.

The rest of Part 2, along with parts, 3, 4, and 5 (see blow) will follow in the next 2-3 months. Scroll down the right side of my blog until you find ALS. All of the ALS posts will be found in this category.

5 Part Series

Part 1 Of 5 Part Series : Could A Gluten Intolerance Cause Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Or Lou Gehrig’s Disease?

Part 2 Of 5 Part ALS Series: How Could A Gluten Intolerance Cause Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Or Lou Gehrig’s Disease? (see 8 sections of Part 2 below)

Section 1 of Part 2: How Could Antibody Reactions Against Transglutaminases Contribute To ALS

Section 2 of Part 2: Could IgA and IgG Mediated reactions To Foods Contribute To ALS Symptoms

Section 3 of Part 2: Could Glutamic Acid And Aspartic Acid Contribute To ALS Symptoms

Section 4 of Part 2: How Abnormal Neurological Findings With A Gluten Intolerance Could be Associated With Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig’s Disease

Section 5 of Part 2: Can Nutrient Deficiencies Contribute And How is This Associated With A Gluten intolerance?

Section 7 of Part 2: Are There studies Showing An Association Between Gluten And ALS?

Part 3 Of 5 Part Series: How Could A Gluten Intolerance Cause ALS In Various Age Groups

Part 4 Of 5 Part Series: How could A Lectin Intolerance Contribute To ALS

Part 5 Of 5 Part Series: Some Final Thoughts About ALS And Gluten

Scroll down the right side of my blog until you find ALS. All of the ALS posts will be found in this category.

References

1. Hadjivassiliou M, Grunewald RA, Chattopadhyay AK, Davies-Jones GA, Gibson A, Jarrat JA, et el. Clinical, Radiological, Neurophysiological, And Neuropathological Characteristics Of Gluten Ataxia. Lancet 1998;352:1582-5.

2. Dickey W. Epilepsy, Cerebral Calcifications, and Coeliac Disease. Lancet 1994;344:1585-6

3. Gobbi G, Bouquet F, Greco L, et al. Coeliac Disease, Epilepsy, and Cerebral Calcifications. The Italian Working Group On Coeliac Disease and Epilepsy. Lancet 340:439, 1992.

4. Hadjivassilou M and Grünwald R. The Neurology of Gluten Sensitivity: Science vs. Conviction. Practical Neurology 2004 4, 124-126.

5. Hugo A. Arroyo, MD, Susana De Rosa, MD, Victor Ruggieri, MD, María T. G. de Dávila, MD, Natalio Fejerman, MD. Epilepsy, Occipital Calcifications, and Oligosymptomatic Celiac Disease in Childhood. Journal of Child Neurology, Vol. 17, No. 11, 800-806 (2002).

6. Collin P, Pirttilä T, Nurmikko T, Somer H, Erilä T, Keyriläinen O. Celiac disease, brain atrophy, and dementia. Neurology. 1991 Mar;41(3):372–375.

7. Ghezzi A, Filippi M, Falini A, Zaffaroni M. Cerebral involvement in celiac disease: a serial MRI study in a patient with brainstem and cerebellar symptoms. Neurology. 1997 Nov;49(5):1447–1450.

8. Matthias Kieslich, MD, Germán Errázuriz, MD, Hans Georg Posselt, MD, Walter Moeller-Hartmann, MD, Friedhelm Zanella, MD, and Hansjosef Boehles, MD. Brain White-Matter Lesions in Celiac Disease: A Prospective Study of 75 Diet-Treated Patients. PEDIATRICS Vol. 108 No. 2 August 2001, p. e21.

9. Addolorato G et al (2004) Regional cerebral hypoperfusion in patients with celiac disease Am J Med 116 (312-317)

10. B. Emanuel, A. Lieberman. Electroencephalogram changes in celiac disease. The Journal of Pediatrics, Volume 62, Issue 3, Pages 435-437.

11. Lea ME, Harbord M, Sage MR. Bilateral Occipital Calcification Associated With Celiac Disease, Folate Deficiency, And Epilepsy. AJNR 16:1498-1500, Aug 1995.

12. Tunc T, Okuyucu E, Ucleri S, Sonmez T, Coskun O, Selvi E, Inan LE. Subclinical celiac disease with cerebellar ataxia. Acta Neurol Belg., 2004 Jun;104(2):84-6.

13. Paul V, Henkerr J, Todt H, Eysold R. Z.Klin.Med., 1985; 40: 707-709.

14. B. Emanuel, A. Lieberman. Electroencephalogram changes in celiac disease. The Journal of Pediatrics, Volume 62, Issue 3, Pages 435-437

15. Regional cerebral hypoperfusion in patients with celiac disease. The American Journal of Medicine, Volume 116, Issue 5, Pages 312-317

16. R. L. Chin, MD, H. W. Sander, MD, T. H. Brannagan, MD, P. H.R. Green, MD, A. P. Hays, MD, A. Alaedini, PhD and N. Latov, MD PhD. Celiac Neuropathy. Neurology 2003;60:1581-1585.

17. Wilkinson ID, Hadjivassiliou M, Dickson JM, Wallis L, Grünwald RA, Coley SC, Widjaja E, Griffiths PD. Cerebellar Abnormalities On Proton MR Spectroscopy in Gluten Ataxia. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2005 Jul;76(7):1011-3.

18. Kepes JJ, Chou SM, Price LW., Jr Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy with 10-year survival in a patient with nontropical sprue. Report of a case with unusual light and electron microscopic features. Neurology. 1975 Nov;25(11):1006–1012.

Comments

2 Responses to “Section 4 of Part 2: How Abnormal Neurological Findings Associated With A Gluten Intolerance Could Be Responsible For Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig’s Disease Symptoms”

  1. Melissa on March 16th, 2011 4:01 am

    Great information, Shelly. Thank you for posting this! I’m working with some folks with neuro-degenerative diseases (yoga and nutrition) and think most (maybe all) would benefit by a gluten-free diet, even with negative test results for celiac. Have you heard of Inclusion Body Myositis? That’s an interest of mine right now and I’m finding some fascinating connections between that and celiac disease.
    Melissa

  2. ELLEN GAFFNEY on July 27th, 2012 7:37 am

    07/27/2012

    Dear Melissa:

    My name is Elle Gaffney I am a celiac patient and when I was diagnosed I had a gene test for Celiac Disease . I had both genes which means one gene came from my father and one gene came from my mother. My mother has Inclusive Body Myocitis. she is severely impaired from this condition. I have always thought that if she went on a gluten free diet it might not cure her but her symptoms might be less. Can you let me know what information you have. When I bring this up to my family they don’t think ti would make a difference and kind of say we know there is a connection but there is nothing saying where it is and if she goes on a gluten free diet that it will help her. if you can give me some information that would let them know that maybe it would help her out I would be most appreciative

    Thank you

    Ellen Gaffney
    thegcats@comcast.net

Leave a Reply