Gluten sensitivity and neuromyelitis optica: two case reports

Saiju Jacob, M Zarei, AR Kenton, H Allroggen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


Neuromyelitis optica is a clinical syndrome characterised by acute transverse myelitis plus an acute or subacute optic neuritis with or without recovery. Although once believed to be a variant of multiple sclerosis, diagnostic criteria have recently been proposed for neuromyelitis optica, making it a clinically distinct syndrome. The term gluten sensitivity refers to a state of heightened immunological responsiveness to ingested gluten in genetically susceptible individuals, as indicated by circulating antibodies to gliadin. Several neurological complications have been described associated with gluten sensitivity ranging from peripheral neuropathy and cerebellar ataxia to an increased risk of epilepsy. Although myelopathy has been described in some case reports of coeliac disease, neuromyelitis optica has never been described in association with gluten sensitivity. We describe two cases of gluten sensitivity presenting as neuromyelitis optica with no previous history of significant gastrointestinal symptoms. Gluten sensitivity was confirmed by immunological and histological studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1028-30
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2005


  • Adult
  • Antibodies/blood
  • Celiac Disease/diagnosis
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Dominance, Cerebral/physiology
  • Female
  • Glutens/immunology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Myelitis, Transverse/diagnosis
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Neuromyelitis Optica/diagnosis
  • Optic Nerve/immunology
  • Spinal Cord/immunology


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