Psychological and cognitive effects of gluten
We published two papers in 2014 in which the psychological and cognitive effects of gluten were addressed.
In a pilot study, the often-described ‘brain fog’ associated with coeliac disease was quantified for the first time using a battery of cognitive tests over the first 12 months of gluten-free diet after diagnosis of coeliac disease (Lichtwark IT et al., Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2014).
The study showed that untreated coeliac disease impaired cognition similarly to having a blood alcohol level of 0.05%. In patients with presumed noncoeliac gluten sensitivity and IBS, gluten did not induce gut symptoms but was specifically associated with feelings of depression (Peters SL et al., Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2014).
The demonstration of the links between food, gut diseases and brain function has created widespread interest in the scientific, medical and lay communities.