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Logo of jnnpsycJournal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and PsychiatryVisit this articleSubmit a manuscriptReceive email alertsContact usBMJ
J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 1997 December; 63(6): 770–775.
PMCID: PMC2169858

Neuromuscular disorder as a presenting feature of coeliac disease


OBJECTIVES—To describe the range of neuromuscular disorders which may be associated with cryptic coeliac disease.
METHODS—Nine patients were described with neuromuscular disorders associated with circulating antigliadin antibodies, whose duodenal biopsies later confirmed the diagnosis of coeliac disease. Neurological symptoms antedated the diagnosis of coeliac disease in all, and most had minimal or no gastrointestinal symptoms at the onset of the neuromuscular disorder.
RESULTS—Three patients had sensorimotor axonal peripheral neuropathy, one had axonal motor peripheral neuropathy, one had probable inclusion body myositis and axonal motor peripheral neuropathy, one had polymyositis and sensorimotor peripheral neuropathy, one had mononeuropathy multiplex, one had neuromyotonia, and one had polyneuropathy.
CONCLUSION—A wide range of neuromuscular disease may be the presenting feature of coeliac disease. This represents the first report of inclusion body myositis and neuromyotonia associated with coeliac disease. Estimation of circulating antigliadin antibodies should be considered in all patients with neuromuscular disease of otherwise obscure aetiology.

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