Monday, March 5, 2012

Is There A Connection Between Celiac Disease and Attention Deficient Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?

In 2004, researchers in Israel evaluated the neurological symptoms of 111 celiac patients. These doctors were some of the first to connect ADHD and celiac disease. Approximately 20% of the participants in this study had ADHD and other learning disabilities, with both genders similarly affected.1 
Two years later, the authors of an Italian study evaluated 132 celiac patients with clinically diagnosed ADHD. The participants, ranging in age from 3 to 57 years old, were evaluated before a gluten-free diet and again after adhering to a gluten-free diet for six months. All 132 participants or their parents noticed significant improvement in behavior.2 The authors of both studies concluded the importance of celiac testing for anyone with ADHD-like symptomatology. The researchers were convinced of a noteworthy link between undiagnosed or untreated celiac disease and mental and behavioral disorders.1,2
Both studies indicated that a gluten-free diet was a significant treatment option.
Wishing you a happy, healthy, gluten-free day!
1 Zelnik N, Pacht A, Obeid R, Lerner A. Range of neurologic disorders in patients with celiac disease. Pediatrics. 2004 Jun;113(6):1672-6.
2 Niederhofer H, Pittschieler K. A preliminary investigation of ADHD symptoms in persons with celiac disease. J Atten Disord. 2006 Nov;10(2):200-4.

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