Journal of Neurology

, 256:2097 | Cite as

Two cases of benign neuromyelitis optica in patients with celiac disease

  • R. BergamaschiEmail author
  • S. Jarius
  • M. Robotti
  • A. Pichiecchio
  • B. Wildemann
  • G. Meola
Letter to the editors


Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is an autoimmune inflammatory disorder of the central nervous system, which predominately affects optic nerves and spinal cord. Celiac disease (CD) or gluten sensitivity is an autoimmune enteropathy triggered by ingestion of wheat gliadin and related proteins in genetically susceptible individuals. Although NMO is associated with other autoimmune disorders in around 30% of cases, an association of NMO with CD has rarely been reported. We describe two Caucasian women who, nineteen and two years after diagnosis of CD, respectively, had recurrent episodes of myelitis and optic neuritis consistent with the diagnosis of NMO. Despite numerous relapses, NMO followed an unusually mild course with no persistent neurological deficit, indicating that recurrent NMO can follow a benign course with complete remission. We discuss in detail a possible link between NMO and pre-existing CD.


Celiac Disease Mitoxantrone Optic Neuritis Glatiramer Acetate Myelitis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank Paola Crivelli for data collection, Stefano Bastianello and Diego Franciotta for critical revision of the manuscript, and Brigitte Fritz for excellent technical assistance.

The work of Sven Jarius was supported by a Fellowship from the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Bergamaschi
    • 1
    Email author
  • S. Jarius
    • 2
  • M. Robotti
    • 3
  • A. Pichiecchio
    • 1
  • B. Wildemann
    • 2
  • G. Meola
    • 3
  1. 1.Inter-Department Research Center on Multiple Sclerosis (CRISM)Neurological Institute “C. Mondino”PaviaItaly
  2. 2.Division of Molecular Neuroimmunology, Department of NeurologyUniversity of HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany
  3. 3.Department of NeurologyUniversity of Milan, IRCCS Policlinico San DonatoMilanItaly

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