Food and Behaviour Research

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Schizophrenic symptoms and SPECT abnormalities in a coeliac patient: regression after a gluten-free diet.

De Santis A, Addolorato G, Romito A, Caputo S, Giordano A, Gambassi G, Taranto C, Manna R, Gasbarrini G.  (1997) J Intern Med. 242(5): 421-3. 

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Abstract:

A 33-year-old patient, with pre-existing diagnosis of 'schizophrenic' disorder, came to our observation for severe diarrhoea and weight loss.

Use of single photon emission computed tomography, (99mTc)HMPAO SPECT, demonstrated hypoperfusion of the left frontal brain area, without evidence of structural cerebral abnormalities. Jejunal biopsy showed villous atrophy. Antiendomysial antibodies were present.

A gluten-free diet was started, resulting in a disappearence of psychiatric symptoms, and normalization of histological duodenal findings and of (99mTc)HMPAO SPECT pattern.

This is the first case in which, in an undiagnosed and untreated coeliac patient with psychiatric manifestations, the (99mTc)HMPAO SPECT demonstrated a dysfunction of frontal cortex disappearing after a gluten-free diet.