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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 105-108

The Gut–brain axis: A new pathogenic view of neurologic symptoms – Description of a pediatric case

1 General Paediatrics Complex Operative Unit, Policlinico-Vittorio Emanuele University Hospital, University of Catania, Catania, Italy
2 Clinical Director, Food Allergy Center, Pediatrician, Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Massachusetts General Hospital, Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA
3 Teheran University of Medical Sciences, Teheran, Iran
4 Pediatric Nephrology Operative Unit, La Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy

Correspondence Address:
Giovanna Vitaliti
Pediatric Nephrology Operative Unit, La Sapienza University of Rome, Rome
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jpn.JPN_190_16

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Recent literature data have given emphasis to the relationship between gastrointestinal (GI) disorders and neurologic diseases, underlying a new pathogenic pathway: The so-called “gut–brain axis.” Herein, authors report a case of a 10-month-old male infant, admitted for drug-resistant epilepsy, associated with irritable behavior and GI discomfort, secondary to cow's milk protein allergy. Seizures were described by parents as upward eye movements that were mostly deviated to the right and were associated with slight extension of his neck. They were infrequent at first, but had increased gradually during the course of 3 days (up to 15–20 times/day). No anticonvulsant therapy was effective. Only a cow's milk protein-free diet, accidentally started during a gastroenteritis episode, was effective in stopping seizures. Our case underlines the peculiar vulnerability of the blood–brain barrier under 1 year of age, for which children of this age group experience neurologic manifestations during episodes of systemic inflammation.


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