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Schizophrenia linked to mothers' gluten sensitivity

While there is no known cause for schizophrenia, researchers have found a link between a woman's gluten sensitivity and the risk of a baby developing psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia. New evidence suggests that children of women with sensitivities to gluten have a doubled risk of developing a psychiatric disorder.

Victims of severe schizophrenia are often unable to secure gainful employment and may be entitled to disability benefits in California and nationwide. According to the Mayo Clinic, risk factors of schizophrenia include a family history of the disease, an older father, exposure to toxins while in the womb, use of psychoactive drugs and exposure to extremely stressful situations.

This research supports other conclusions that maternal nutrition can impact offspring. A study analyzed 764 neonatal birth samples and birth records of people born between 1975 and 1985. Of the total sample, 211 went on to develop schizophrenia or a similar psychiatric disorder. According to researchers, a woman's antibodies cross the placenta during pregnancy to confer immunity to the baby. The association between gluten sensitivity and schizophrenia held true even after taking into account mother's age and how the baby was delivered.

Past observational studies have also linked gluten sensitivity and schizophrenia, noting, for example that in World War II when there was a wheat scarcity, there was a lower rate of people being admitted to the hospital because of schizophrenia. Research also suggested that rates of celiac disease were higher among people diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Individuals diagnosed with a mental disorder, such as schizophrenia, may have a more difficult time demonstrating disability. Working with an experienced advocate on an application or if you application has been denied can be beneficial in providing appropriate documentation to the Social Security Administration.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Mother's Gluten Sensitivity Linked With Child's Schizophrenia Risk: Study," May 11, 2012.


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