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Epilepsy: Is the number of seizures reduced by a special diet?

Epilepsy: Is the number of seizures reduced by a special diet?


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Numerous patients with epilepsy are treated with a high-fat ketogenic diet. While this is not the only method that measures the frequency of seizures, it has no side effects over the long term - researchers at Johns Hopkins Children's Hospital suggest.

Special diet for epilepsy

The work, published in the February 2010 issue of Epilepsia Community, is the first study examining the role of diet in therapy and its longer-term effects. large amounts of fat and light carbohydrates - results in biochemical changes that interrupts the brain control circuits that cause seizures. The procedure is used in neonatal muscular rigidity and in children with epilepsy when conventional medications do not work. However, short-term treatment has been associated with a number of events: it can increase cholesterol, slow down development and, in rare cases, lead to kidney stones.
"In spite of these temporary side effects, we believe the ketogenic regimen can be considered safe over the long term," she says. Dr. Eric Kossoff, director of the Hopkins ketogene program.
The study looked at patients between 2 and 26 years of age who were on the ketogenic regimen for 16 months and 8 years between 1993 and 2008, respectively. The 101 patients have been up for at least 8 months, but some have 14 years who are not following the diet. 80 percent of patients became seizure-free and reported fewer seizures in the prior period. In most cases, despite the diet, there was no worsening.
Researchers call attention to the fact that it is conceivable that some effects may take decades to appear, but since the patients were among those whose least ten years had stopped dieting, it makes sure that there are no longer lasting side effects.
No one has reported cardiovascular disease (heart attack, heart enlargement, atherosclerosis). Only one patient had high blood pressure, and two patients had kidney stones - but this may be consistent with that seen in the non-ketogenic population. Renal and hepatic function tests were performed in 25 cases, none of which were abnormal. Cholesterol levels during the diet are true to rise, but in most cases, after stopping, they return to normal.
Although there was minimal underestimation of healthy body height, body weight was considered normal. The greatest risk might be the continued dietary support of children, but only about eight percent of patients after diet had preferred junk food.
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