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Re: Celiac disease and depression Deb R

Posted by Larry Hoover on June 29, 2003, at 11:43:24

In reply to Celiac disease and depression, posted by Deb R on June 29, 2003, at 2:50:25

> Last year there was a thread started about celiac disease and depression. I am just wondering if those that posted then are still around and if so, how are they progressing? Has a gluten free diet for a longer period of time helped?
> My Mum has schizophrenia and in a recent blood test they tested for celiac disease. She was positive to two of the indicators, not enough for them to say a definite an endoscopy is next on the list.
> I would be very grateful if anyone out there has some information which may be of help - this gluten thing may also impact on one of our children - a long story, too long to go into here, but any info could help us.
> Thankyou very much,
> Deb.

There's a very clear link between celiac and mental illness. Moreover, many people have "silent" celiac, not so disturbing as to create major symptoms, but significantly affecting nutrient uptake, just the same. I think I may be one of those myself.

Psychiatr Pol. 2002 Jul-Aug;36(4):567-78.

[Psychiatric symptoms and coeliac disease]

[Article in Polish]

Potocki P, Hozyasz K.

Kliniki Psychiatrii Dzieci i Mlodziezy, Instytutu Psychiatrii i Neurologii w Warszawie.

Psychiatric symptoms and psychological behavioral pathologies are common in patients with untreated coeliac disease. There are several case reports of coexistence of coeliac sprue and depression, schizophrenia and anxiety. Views on association between coeliac disease and psychiatric disturbances and results of the most important studies are discussed. Biological background is referred. Malabsorption and deficiency of aminoacids and vitamins implicate reduction of synthesis of neurotransmitters in the central nervous system. Psychiatric symptoms could also be linked to immunological disregulation in coeliac patients. Psychological pathologies do appear in treated and untreated coeliacs, the need of psychological support is stressed. Coeliac disease should be taken into consideration in patients with psychiatric disorders, particularly if they are not responsive to psychopharmacological therapy, because withdrawal of gluten from the diet usually results in disappearance of symptoms. In recent years, an increased incidence of subclinical/silent coeliac disease has been reported. Psychiatric symptoms and psychological behavioral pathologies could be the only clinical manifestation of coeliac disease, but the epidemiological aspects need further investigation.

Am J Gastroenterol. 1999 Mar;94(3):839-43.

Depression in adult untreated celiac subjects: diagnosis by the pediatrician.

Corvaglia L, Catamo R, Pepe G, Lazzari R, Corvaglia E.

Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology, St. Orsola Hospital, University of Bologna, Italy.

Untreated celiac disease can lead to serious behavioral disorders. We describe three adult patients with undiagnosed or untreated celiac disease without particular intestinal signs, causing persistent depressive symptoms in three of the parents of our pediatric patients. In two of the three cases, the pediatrician suspected the diagnosis when taking the family history of the children. In fact, a diagnosis of celiac disease was made during childhood, when they had intestinal symptoms, but the gluten-free diet was spontaneously interrupted during the teenage period because of the disappearance of the typical intestinal signs. In the third case the mother was tested for antiendomysium antibodies (EmA), as she had a diagnosed celiac child. In all three patients, the depressive symptoms improved quickly with a gluten-free diet. In conclusion, celiac disease should be taken into consideration in the presence of behavioral and depressive disorders, particularly if they are not responsive to the usual antidepressive therapy.

Gut. 1991 Dec;32(12):1478-81.

Plasma precursor amino acids of central nervous system monoamines in children with coeliac disease.

Hernanz A, Polanco I.

Servicio de Bioquimica, Hospital La Paz, Madrid, Spain.

Some children with coeliac disease show behavioural disorders such as depression and other signs which have been correlated with reduced central monoamine metabolism. We have therefore investigated the brain availability of the monoamine precursors tryptophan and tyrosine in 15 untreated children with coeliac disease and 12 treated children with coeliac disease as well as in 12 control children. Significantly decreased plasma concentrations of tryptophan were found in untreated children (mean (SD) 13 (4) mumols/l, p less than 0.001) compared with treated children (31 (13) mumols/l), and in both groups of coeliac children when compared with control children (81 (22) mumols/l). A significantly lower ratio of plasma tryptophan to large neutral amino acids (tyrosine, valine, isoleucine, leucine, and phenylalanine) was also observed, which could indicate impaired brain availability of tryptophan in coeliac children and was more pronounced in untreated children. The impaired availability of tryptophan could produce decreased central serotonin synthesis and in turn behaviour disorders in children with coeliac disease.




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