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Monday, November 29, 2010

Epilepsy Controlled with a Low-Carb Diet


My husband found this article in the NY Times.  It is truly amazing that the little boy, Sam, who had about 130 seizures a day has gained significant control over his epilepsy through an extreme high fat (90%) low-carb diet supplemented with vitamins and magnesium and calcium.  His parents have to be cruel to be kind when it comes to denying the child tempting high-carb, sugary goodies that any young child is often faced with.  It is very difficult for Sam and sometimes the food fights end in a tantrum and tears.

Laura Dolsen told this fascinating, miracle story with regards to finding the same article in the NY Times:

"About 17 or so years ago on an Internet parenting group I was part of, there was a mom who's baby daughter had a terrible illness called Infantile Spasms, which caused dozens of seizures per day. She was told that her daughter would almost inevitably become seriously brain-damaged. After trying many standard treatments, the mom delved into the research and came across a crazy diet called the Ketogenic Diet, which is very high in fat, low in carbs, and lowish in protein. Their pediatrician warned her not to do it and many thought she was nuts, or in denial and grasping at straws. But this mom persisted, convincing a neurologist to give it a try.

It worked. The seizures stopped. Her daughter grew into a happy, healthy child with no signs of brain damage. Obviously, this made a huge impression on me!"

Here is an excerpt that summarizes the diet and its effect on epilepsy:

"But when it comes to keto’s impact on pediatric seizures, there is wide acceptance. There are about two dozen backward-looking analyses of patient data suggesting keto works, and, more significant, two randomized, controlled studies published in 2008. One of the trials, by researchers at University College London, found that 38 percent of patients on the diet had their seizure frequency reduced more than 50 percent and that 7 percent had their seizure frequency reduced more than 90 percent.
Those numbers may look low, but they’re not. These were patients for whom antiepileptic drugs had already failed. For children with certain kinds of drug-resistant seizures, Thiele’s clinical data show an even better response: 7 out of 10 were able to reduce their count more than 90 percent with the diet. Those statistics are as good as those for any antiepileptic drug ever made. Other pediatric neurologists get similar results. The diet has cut Sam’s seizures by 75 percent."