“Bread madness” revisited: screening for specific celiac antibodies among schizophrenia patients Academic Article uri icon


  • Purpose. – A possible association between gluten consumption and schizophrenia has been reported. The objective was to compare patients with chronic schizophrenia and matched controls for sociodemographic variables, prevalence of celiac-specific anti-endomysial antibodies and disease-related variables. Subjects and methods. – The study group was comprised of 50 consecutive patients diagnosed with schizophrenia, 18 years of age and older attending the out-patient clinic of the Mental Health Center in Beer-Sheva, Israel. The control group was comprised of mentally normal volunteers who came to primary care clinics for blood tests unrelated to gastrointestinal tract complaints and who were not diagnosed with celiac disease. Known celiac patients and those who refused to participate, did non-speak Hebrew or were incoherent were excluded from the study. All participants in both groups underwent a blood test for anti-endomysial IgA antibody and completed a questionnaire. Results. – Each group was comprised of 50 participants. There were no significant differences between the groups in gender, BMI or country of birth. The mean age of the study group was significantly higher than the controls. All tests for anti-endomysial antibody in both groups were negative. Discussion and conclusions. – In contrast to previous reports, we found no evidence for celiac disease in patients with chronic schizophrenia as manifested by the presence of serum IgA anti-endomysial antibodies. It is unlikely that there is an association between gluten sensitivity and schizophrenia.

publication date

  • January 1, 2004