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Brain abnormality in patients with coeliac disease

Patients with coeliac disease who have been referred for neurological opinion have been found to have significant brain abnormality as seen on magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. Thirty-three people with biopsy-confirmed coeliac disease, aged 19–64, were divided into subgroups based on their primary neurological complaint: balance disturbance, headache and sensory loss. MR was used to evaluate the density of the grey matter in the brain, white matter abnormalities (WMAs) and the neurochemistry and volume of the cerebellum.

Cerebellar volume was significantly less in the three patient groups than in the non-coeliac control group. Less grey matter density was also found in the patient groups, and 36% of patients displayed WMAs abnormal for the patient's age especially in the headache patient subgroup. MR images may provide information of specific physical traits of the progress or effects of coeliac disease.

Source: Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry


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