Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Controversial Atkins Diet May Be Beneficial For People With Epilepsy

Date:
February 1, 2005
Source:
Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Summary:
Imagine that your child with epilepsy could have seizures less frequently, by eating more protein and less carbs. The first comprehensive review of possible dietary treatments of epilepsy has recently been published. Among those dietary regimens is the low-carbohydrate Atkins Diet which has proven successful in suppressing epileptic seizures in a small series of patients.

Imagine that your child with epilepsy could have seizures less frequently, by eating more protein and less carbs. The first comprehensive review of possible dietary treatments of epilepsy has recently been published. Among those dietary regimens is the low-carbohydrate Atkins Diet which has proven successful in suppressing epileptic seizures in a small series of patients. The review, published in Epilepsy Currents, explores the benefits of low-carb, high protein, and other restricted dietary therapies for patients with epilepsy.

There are a number of diets being tried to help people with epilepsy. The ketogenic diet (KD), a high fat, adequate protein, and low carbohydrate diet, is the most well known of dietary therapies amongst the epilepsy community. It was initially devised in 1921 to "mimic the anticonvulsant effects of fasting, which were known to suppress seizures." Because the KD is high in fat and low in carbohydrates, the body is forced to burn fat for energy, a process called ketosis. The review explains that this shift in energy results in an anticonvulsant effect, though the exact mechanisms are still not fully understood.

Another treatment, still in preliminary stages, is a diet high in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). This may be another option to control seizures. A diet enriched in PUFA has shown to help in brain development and decreases the excitability of nerve cells that can induce seizures. Additionally, a diet high in PUFA may help against the degenerative effects of Alzheimer disease.

These diets have been successful to a point, but each has drawbacks in terms of implementation. As success has been observed with the Atkins diet, people with epilepsy might find this diet to be easier to follow.

"Unfortunately, our knowledge about the relation between nutrition and epilepsy is in its infancy," states author Dr. Carl E. Stafstrom. "Aside from the ketogenic diet, nutritional modalities to treat epilepsy are premature. Nevertheless, as indicated in this review, several potential treatment adjuncts are on the horizon… The potential benefits of dietary alterations comprise an intriguing and novel approach to epilepsy treatment."

###

This article is published in Epilepsy Currents.

About the Author

Carl E. Stafstrom, MD, Ph.D. is Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Stafstrom has done over ten years of laboratory research investigating the mechanisms of the ketogenic and PUFA diets. He is a practicing clinical pediatric neurologist and has used the ketogenic diet extensively in the treatment of children with epilepsy. He is the author of a recent book called Epilepsy and the Ketogenic Diet.

About Epilepsy Currents

The American Epilepsy Society and Blackwell Publishing are pleased to present Epilepsy Currents. This bi-monthly current-awareness journal provides reviews, commentaries and abstracts from the world's literature on the research and treatment of epilepsy. Epilepsy Currents surveys and comments on all important research and developments in a format that is easy to read and reference. Each issue of Epilepsy Currents is divided into two main sections, Basic Sciences and Clinical Sciences. An outstanding Editorial Board reviews the literature and assigns topics and articles to world experts for comment. In addition, the Editors commission authoritative review articles on important subjects.

About the American Epilepsy Society

The American Epilepsy Society (AES) is one of the oldest neurological professional organizations in the nation, with roots dating to 1898. The Society promotes research and education for professionals dedicated to the prevention, treatment and cure of Epilepsy. Membership in the Society is made up of clinicians, researchers investigating basic and clinical aspects of epilepsy, and other health-care professionals interested in seizure disorders.

About Blackwell Publishing

Blackwell Publishing is the world's leading society publisher, partnering with more than 550 academic and professional societies. Blackwell publishes over 750 journals and 600 text and reference books annually, across a wide range of academic, medical, and professional subjects.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. "Controversial Atkins Diet May Be Beneficial For People With Epilepsy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 February 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/02/050201074138.htm>.
Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. (2005, February 1). Controversial Atkins Diet May Be Beneficial For People With Epilepsy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/02/050201074138.htm
Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. "Controversial Atkins Diet May Be Beneficial For People With Epilepsy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/02/050201074138.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Newsy (July 19, 2014) Research on plaque from ancient teeth shows that our prehistoric ancestor's had a detailed understanding of plants long before developing agriculture. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

AFP (July 18, 2014) Contaminated water in South Africa's northwestern town of Bloemhof kills three babies and hospitalises over 500 people. The incident highlights growing fears over water safety in South Africa. Duration: 02:22 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins