Gluten Ataxia: The Newest Gluten Sensitivity

Gluten keeps making headlines, but unfortunately not for its health benefits. More and more disease processes are being tied to autoimmune reactions precipitated by gluten. The most recent announcement is that gluten sensitivity may actually damage the brain, in certain people, causing a condition called gluten ataxia.

What is Gluten Ataxia?

Gluten, a protein found in wheat, is classically associated with autoimmune reactions that lead to celiac disease. However, new research is suggesting that gluten may be linked to a number of health conditions. For a select group of people, antibodies against gluten are thought to attack the cerebellum and cause ataxia.

Ataxia is a medical term that means a person has difficulty with balance and coordination.

Ataxia results from damage the cerebellum, the part of the brain that controls movement and helps us to coordinate things like balance. Gluten ataxia is caused by damage to the cerebellum that occurs when antibodies against gluten mistakenly kill neurons in the brain.

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