Natural Health News – People with celiac disease often experience ‘brain fog’, in addition to intestinal problems, but a new study shows that adherence to a gluten-free diet can lead to improvements in cognition that correlate with the degree of intestinal healing.
The yearlong small pilot study published in Food Pharmacology and Therapeutics involving 11 patients (8 women, 3 men), celiac disease newly diagnosed and starting a gluten-free diet.
Patients were assessed with a battery of cognitive tests at 0, 12 and 52 weeks. Efficiency information processing, memory, visuospatial ability, motor function and attention were tested.
At the same time, small bowel biopsies were collected by routine gastroscopy at weeks 12 and 52 and compared with those taken at the beginning of the study.
Scientists were able to compare the cognitive performance of serum tissue transglutaminase antibodies (which are indicative of autoimmune conditions such as celiac disease), the results of the biopsy and other biological markers.
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Gluten sensitivity has been linked to cognitive impairment and neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s, ADHD and Parkinson’s.
One study, published in Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry , the authors go so far as to refer to the sensitivity gluten as a neurological disease.
The inflammation that causes gluten sensitivity can severely affect the brain and the immune system leading to symptoms that include difficulty maintaining concentration, poor memory function, mental confusion and pain severe headaches.
The findings of this study indicate that gluten free diet not only help heal the gut, it can also help solve these problems that are so common for patients with celiac disease.
“The study results underscore the importance of people with celiac disease maintain a gluten-free diet not only physical, but also mental well-being,” said the lead author, Dr. Greg Yelland.