Anti-ganglioside antibodies in coeliac disease with neurological disorders

U. Volta, R. De Giorgio, A. Granito, V. Stanghellini, G. Barbara, P. Avoni, R. Liguori, N. Petrolini, E. Fiorini, P. Montagna, R. Corinaldesi, F. B. Bianchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Anti-ganglioside antibodies have been described in sera of coeliac patients with peripheral neuropathy and cerebellar ataxia. Aims: To investigate the correlation between anti-ganglioside antibodies and neurological involvement in coeliac disease before and after gluten-free diet. Patients and methods: Twenty-two untreated coeliac patients with neurological dysfunction and 30 untreated coeliacs without neurological dysfunction, 20 patients with neurological disorders, 50 autoimmune disease and 20 blood donors were tested for anti-GM1, anti-GD1b and anti-GQ1b IgG and IgM antibodies by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results: IgG antibodies to at least one of the three antigens tested were positive in 64% of coeliac patients with neurological symptoms compared to 30% of coeliacs without neurological dysfunction (P = 0.02), 50% of patients with neurological disorders (P = ns), 20% with autoimmune diseases (P = 0.003) and none of blood donors (P = 0.0001). A strict gluten-free diet determined anti-ganglioside antibody disappearance in about half of coeliacs. Conclusions: A significant correlation between anti-ganglioside antibodies and neurological disorders in patients with an underlying coeliac disease has been found. Anti-ganglioside antibodies may represent a new immunological marker to identify neurological impairment in patients with coeliac disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-187
Number of pages5
JournalDigestive and Liver Disease
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2006


  • Anti-ganglioside antibodies
  • Coeliac disease
  • Neurological disorders
  • Neuronal antibodies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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