It has been suggested that celiac disease (CD) is associated with several neurological diseases.
However, the evidence of such an association is inconclusive, as earlier research has often been based on small numbers with retrospective data collection.
Dr J. F. Ludvigsson and colleagues from Sweden and the USA used Cox regression to examine the risk of neurological disease in individuals with CD.
|Celiac disease is associated with polyneuropathy. |
| Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics |
Through Swedish national registers they identified some 14,000 individuals with a diagnosis of CD (1964-2003) and 70,000 reference individuals matched for age, sex, calendar year and county.
The team found that CD was associated with later polyneuropathy [hazard ratio (HR) = 3.4; 95% CI = 2.3-5.1].
They found no statistically significant association between CD and subsequent multiple sclerosis (HR = 0.9; 95% CI = 0.3-2.3), Parkinson's disease (HR = 1.2; 95% CI = 0.8-1.9), Alzheimer's disease (HR = 1.5; 95% CI = 0.9-2.6), hereditary ataxia (HR = 1.3; 95% CI = 0.5-3.6), the symptom ataxia (HR = 1.9; 95% CI = 0.6-6.2), Huntington's disease (HR = 1.7; 95% CI = 0.3-8.6), myasthenia gravis (HR = 0.8; 95% CI = 0.2-3.8) or spinal muscular atrophy (HR = 0.5; 95% CI = 0.1-3.8).
Prior polyneuropathy was associated with subsequent CD (odds ratio = 5.4; 95% CI = 3.6-8.2).
Dr Ludvigsson concluded that the association between CD and polyneuropathy indicated shared risks. He suggested that, "Individuals with polyneuropathy should routinely undergo screening for CD".
He found no notable association between CD and other neurological outcomes investigated in this study.