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Gluten reaction in children and young adults with cerebral palsy (CP)

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Reidun Stenberg

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Our previously published data have demonstrated significantly increased antibody response towards milk, egg and gluten proteins in children with CP, compared with matched controls, with underweighted individuals having a higher antibody response. Abnormal immune response to gluten is closely associated with celiac disease (CD), but the immune response in this group is distinct from CD. The specific antibody response to gluten proteins can differs in extra- intestinal gluten related disorders that are not celiac disease. If a specific antibody response is seen, in this group of children, it would indicate the possibility of gluten free treatment.

We also plan to investigate whether these antibodies found previously in our studies, are associated with marker of blood-brain barrier disruption and neural injury. If an association is shown, it would provide an impetus for examining the effect of gluten-free diet in a subset of patients with the antibody response. This group of patients could then benefit from gluten free diet (GFD) both in terms of under nutrition and brain/neurological symptoms.

To have serological brain injury markers early in life, that may indicate which sub-diagnosis of CP a child is likely have, would be extremely helpful for the child, parents and in clinical practice. You can then make a possible prognosis of the child’s future, since it differs between the subtypes. It is also very important for the clinician to know which CP-subtype the child belongs to, in order to give an optimal medical care.


To examine different markers of blood-brain barrier disruption and neural injury and their association with antibody response to gluten determined by specific immunoassays, such as ELISA. Our goal is to study if there is an association between elevated antibodies, weight and subtypes of CP.


Asst.Prof Armin Alaedini and Prof. Peter Green

Celiac Disease Center, Columbia University, New York.


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