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Case Report

Gluten Psychosis: Confirmation of a New Clinical Entity

Department of Pediatrics, University of Catania, Via S. Sofia 78, 95124 Catania, Italy
Pediatric Neuro-Psychiatric Unit, G. Gaslini Institute, Via Gerolamo Gaslini 5, 16147 Genova, Italy
Department of Pediatrics, Marche Polytechnic University, Ancona, Via Corridoni, 11, 60123 Ancona, Italy
The Division of Paediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition and Center for Celiac Research, MassGeneral Hospital for Children, 55 Fruit Street, Boston, MA 02114, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2015, 7(7), 5532-5539;
Received: 30 May 2015 / Revised: 17 June 2015 / Accepted: 2 July 2015 / Published: 8 July 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gluten Related Disorders: People Shall not Live on Bread Alone)
Non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) is a syndrome diagnosed in patients with symptoms that respond to removal of gluten from the diet, after celiac disease and wheat allergy have been excluded. NCGS has been related to neuro-psychiatric disorders, such as autism, schizophrenia and depression. A singular report of NCGS presenting with hallucinations has been described in an adult patient. We report a pediatric case of a psychotic disorder clearly related to NCGS and investigate the causes by a review of literature. The pathogenesis of neuro-psychiatric manifestations of NCGS is unclear. It has been hypothesized that: (a) a “leaky gut” allows some gluten peptides to cross the intestinal membrane and the blood brain barrier, affecting the endogenous opiate system and neurotransmission; or (b) gluten peptides may set up an innate immune response in the brain similar to that described in the gut mucosa, causing exposure from neuronal cells of a transglutaminase primarily expressed in the brain. The present case-report confirms that psychosis may be a manifestation of NCGS, and may also involve children; the diagnosis is difficult with many cases remaining undiagnosed. Well-designed prospective studies are needed to establish the real role of gluten as a triggering factor in neuro-psychiatric disorders. View Full-Text
Keywords: gluten; hallucinations; non celiac gluten sensitivity; psycosis gluten; hallucinations; non celiac gluten sensitivity; psycosis
MDPI and ACS Style

Lionetti, E.; Leonardi, S.; Franzonello, C.; Mancardi, M.; Ruggieri, M.; Catassi, C. Gluten Psychosis: Confirmation of a New Clinical Entity. Nutrients 2015, 7, 5532-5539.

AMA Style

Lionetti E, Leonardi S, Franzonello C, Mancardi M, Ruggieri M, Catassi C. Gluten Psychosis: Confirmation of a New Clinical Entity. Nutrients. 2015; 7(7):5532-5539.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lionetti, Elena, Salvatore Leonardi, Chiara Franzonello, Margherita Mancardi, Martino Ruggieri, and Carlo Catassi. 2015. "Gluten Psychosis: Confirmation of a New Clinical Entity" Nutrients 7, no. 7: 5532-5539.

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