Investigators at University of Gaziantep, Turkey, studied the frequency of celiac disease (CD) among children with occipital epilepsy. Two out of 90 epilepsy patients with occipital discharges were tissue transglutaminase (tTG) positive, a prevalence of 1/45 (2.22%), and diagnosis of CD was confirmed by endoscopic duodenal biopsy. In patients with occipital lobe epilepsy associated with CD, seizures were uncontrolled with monotherapy (oxcarbamazepine or valproic acid). Screening for CD is recommended in children with resistant occipital epilepsy. [1]

COMMENTARY. Neurological diseases associated with CD in addition to occipital epilepsy include cerebellar ataxia, peripheral neuropathy, myositis, neuromyotonia, myasthenic syndrome, cerebral calcification, myelopathy, and dementia. Reports of the prevalence of CD in children with occipital epilepsy are variable and usually 2 or 3 times higher than the general population. The prevalence of 1/45 quoted by the present Turkish group was not statistically significant [1]. In one large-scale study, the frequency of CD confirmed by the antiendomysial antibody IgA scan and small intestine biopsy was 1/127 in epileptic patients (n = 255) and 1/293 in a control group (n = 3,400)[2].