I thought I'd share some news coming about about treating children with epilepsy. It is based on a diet called the ketogenic diet and is based on a high fat, low carb way of eating.
At first I was thinking Atkins? South Beach? But this has nothing to do with 'diet' in terms of weight loss.
This is a doctor prescribed diet that has been seen to reduce seizures in children.
Sugar is banned completely from this diet (completely! not even regular cough syrup is allowed!) and portion are kept small to decrease the chance of weight gain (since the diet is high in fat).
This is a very strictly monitored diet plan for these children that really seems to be working!
A study from University College London study that "will appear in the June, 2008, issue of The Lancet Neurology, has found that the diet, high in fat, low in carbohydrates, and with controlled protein intake, is effective in controlling and preventing seizures in children who have drug-resistant epilepsy." Further..."The recent study included 145 drug-resistant children, ages 2 to 16, who suffered seizures at least once daily, or more than seven times per week. Over a three month period complete data was obtained from 54 children who had been placed on the ketogenic diet at the start of the study, and from 49 children who had been used as a control group, and had not been started on the diet.
At the end of the trial, seizures in the diet group had declined by more than 38 percent, while seizures in the control group had increased by 36.9 percent. Twenty-eight of the children in the diet group had a greater than 50 percent reduction in their seizures, while only four children in the control group experienced such a reduction. Five children in the diet group had more than 90 percent fewer seizures; none in the control group achieved that high a percentage of improvement."
Up to one third of children have become seizure free on this diet.
Of course, there are side effects to this very strict diet including kidney stones, constipation and weight gain.
Doctor supervision is required at all times. This is not a diet a parent should put their child on without consulting a specialist.
For more information on Epilepsy, visit www.epilepsy.com and www.epilepsyfoundation.org
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