from www.zombieinstitute.net - Heidi's new site
It's commonly known that a severe allergy to peanuts can cause death within minutes.
What if there were an allergy that were delayed for hours and caused people to fall asleep instead? That is what I believe is happening in people with Narcolepsy.
Celiac disease is an allergy to gliadin, a specific gluten protein found in grains such as wheat, barley and rye. In celiac disease the IgA antigliadin antibody is produced after ingestion of gluten. It attacks the gluten, but also mistakenly binds to and creates an immune reaction in the cells of the small intestine causing severe damage. There is another form of gluten intolerance, Dermatitis Herpetiformis, in which the IgA antigliadin bind to proteins in the skin, causing blisters, itching and pain. This can occur without any signs of intestinal damage. Non-celiac gluten sensitivity is a similar autoimmune reaction to gliadin, however it usually involves the IgG form of the antibody and damage to the small intestine is not common. IgG antibodies are commonly associated with delayed food allergies.
It has recently been shown that certain IgG antigliadins bind to the protein Synapsin in the brain. I believe this starts a process which causes the cumulative loss of neurons producing the neurotransmitter orexin (also known as hypocretin) which causes narcolepsy.
This is some of the data which started my research:
- Narcolepsy-like symptoms in mice have been induced by injecting them with antibodies from narcoleptic humans. No relationship between symptoms and anti-orexin antibodies has been found in narcoleptic patients however, which suggests the possibility that other antibodies are directed against the orexin cells.
-Narcolepsy is strongly associated with an immune antigen gene DQB1*0602, appearing in 90% of patients.
-HLA DQB1*06 alleles are also associated with Non-celiac gluten sensitivity. In fact DQB1*06 alleles seem to confer a higher risk to present neurological rather than intestinal symptoms.
This is the process I have proposed:
1. Genetically susceptible people produce antigliadin antibodies capable of binding to brain proteins. These antibodies are ordinarily too large to pass through the blood-brain-barrier, and no damage occurs.
2. The BBB is compromised somehow. Many narcolepsy patients contract mononucleosis sometime in their teens and this damages the barrier and then their symptoms start. Other infectious agents and chemicals such as anesthesia can also damage the membrane. There are also reports of sudden onset or rapid progression after head trauma.
3. Antibodies infiltrate the brain, attach to the synapsin protein in the neurons, and obstruct neurotransmitter release. In narcolepsy the neurotransmitter is orexin, and it creates wakefulness and stimulates the dopamine cells elsewhere. Without orexin you fall asleep, and the lowered stimulation of the dopamine makes you depressed. This is why the attacks usually come in the afternoon. Gluten for breakfast starts the process, gluten for lunch clogs everything up, and a few hours later you can't stay awake. The problem is, the antibody lives for about 2 weeks. Every time you eat gluten you accumulate more of them in your brain.
4. This is not just a sleep disorder, it's progressive brain damage. The inability to release the neurotransmitter causes an excess of the protein alpha-synuclein in the cell. Alpha-synuclein is stiff and pointy and pokes holes in the cellular membranes like the nucleus, mitochondria and golgi complex, killing the cells. Autopsy examination of narcoleptics show they usually have NO orexin cells left.
Let me add two important points:
-The DBQ1*0602 allele is only the most commonly occurring gene in narcolepsy. It has been shown that other alleles also occur among narcoleptics, so do not assume because you have tested negative for this gene you are not gluten sensitive. There are many variants of antigliadin and no studies exist that determine which variants cause which symptoms. This mechanism also accounts for the less drastic symptoms of Idiopathic Hypersomnia.
The simple regimen of a gluten-free diet has been used effectively in the treatment of celiac disease. Strict adherence to a gluten-free diet arrests the progression of celiac disease, and long term compliance can result in healing of the small intestine and return to normal function. Early screening can prevent manifestation of the disease altogether. Similar results may be possible with the neurological effects of gluten sensitivity.
(In addition to myself, I do already have reports from 5 narcoleptics of positive tests, or rapid remission of their symptoms on a gluten-free diet.)
Personally I believe that anyone showing symptoms of narcolepsy, cataplexy, hypersomnia or major depression should be tested for gluten sensitivity. However, remember you can be gluten sensitive without having celiac disease. Celiac tests are specific for intestinal tissue antibodies and usually do NOT include an assay for IgG antigliadin. There are specific tests for gluten sensitivity which do include IgA and IgG antibodies. Your doctor may agree to order one for you, but as far as I can tell, most of them are only familiar with celiac disease and aren't aware of, or open to the possibility of neurological effects of gluten.
The above is from Heidi Lindborg's blog- the Kitchen Table. I've been thinking many of the same things based on learning about gluten, autoimmune diseases. I've been trying to connect the dots between obesity, ADD, diabetes, depression, circadian rhythyms, etc. and she's been doing the same thing. She has more links and articles, and lots of research on her blog, check it out!