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Understanding the antiepileptic benefits of an Atkins-like diet

Date:
July 8, 2011
Source:
Journal of Clinical Investigation
Summary:
Some individuals with epilepsy fail to respond to treatment with conventional drugs but benefit from consuming a ketogenic diet -- a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet similar to the more commonly known Atkins diet. Researchers have now identified in mice the molecular mechanism responsible for the antiepileptic effects of the ketogenic diet.

Some individuals with epilepsy fail to respond to treatment with conventional drugs but benefit from consuming a ketogenic diet -- a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet similar to the more commonly known Atkins diet. A team of researchers, led by Detlev Boison, at the Legacy Research Institute, Portland, has now identified in mice the molecular mechanism responsible for the antiepileptic effects of the ketogenic diet.

The team found that a ketogenic diet reduces seizures in mice by decreasing expression of the protein Adk, which is responsible for clearing the natural antiepileptic agent adenosine from the brain. The clinical relevance of these data are highlighted by the team's finding that brain tissue from patients with epilepsy that fails to respond to treatment with conventional drugs shows increased levels of Adk.

The team suggests that their data could lead to the development of less-restrictive antiepileptic diets and alternate pharmaceutical approaches to treatment, notions with which Robert Greene, at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, concurs in an accompanying commentary.

The research is published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Journal of Clinical Investigation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Susan A. Masino, Tianfu Li, Panos Theofilas, Ursula S. Sandau, David N. Ruskin, Bertil B. Fredholm, Jonathan D. Geiger, Eleonora Aronica, Detlev Boison. A ketogenic diet suppresses seizures in mice through adenosine A1 receptors. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2011; DOI: 10.1172/JCI57813
  2. Robert W. Greene. Adenosine: front and center in linking nutrition and metabolism to neuronal activity. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2011; DOI: 10.1172/JCI58391

Cite This Page:

Journal of Clinical Investigation. "Understanding the antiepileptic benefits of an Atkins-like diet." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110623130144.htm>.
Journal of Clinical Investigation. (2011, July 8). Understanding the antiepileptic benefits of an Atkins-like diet. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110623130144.htm
Journal of Clinical Investigation. "Understanding the antiepileptic benefits of an Atkins-like diet." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110623130144.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

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