Maternal antibodies to gluten linked to schizophrenia risk in children

The Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and Johns Hopkins University in the US have carried out a study that links maternal gluten sensitivity to an increased risk of developing schizophrenia in later life. The study included individuals born between 1975 and 1985 with diagnoses of nonaffective psychoses. There were 211 case subjects and 553 comparison subjects who consented to participate in the study.

The researchers analysed dried blood spots obtained from newborns for immunoglobulin G (IgG) levels directed at gliadin, a component of gluten, and at casein, a milk protein. They found that high levels of gliadin in the maternal circulation were consistent with an increased risk of developing a nonaffective psychosis in children. Further research is needed to identify why, and to develop preventative strategies.

Source: The American Journal of Psychiatry


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