New research from the Ann & Robert H Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago has found that young children with epilepsy caused by genetic abnormality had a better response to the ketogenic diet compared to children with other types of epilepsy.
The ketogenic diet is a low carbohydrate, high fat diet that is used to treat epilepsy which has not responded to other treatments. More information on this can be found here.
Commenting on the findings of the research, study author Dr John Millicap said:
“Overall, we observed that ketogenic diet continues to be a safe, effective and well-tolerated treatment for patients under 3 years of age with drug-resistant epilepsy.
109 children were included in the study. Close to 20% achieved complete seizure control after three months and nearly 40% had significant seizure reduction.
The study concludes that “the availability of new diagnostic studies such as genetic testing could promote early and effective use of the ketogenic diet by identifying patients who might favourably respond…”
Epilepsy Ireland is currently funding research at RCSI to improve the identification of children who would benefit from the diet. The study, if successful, will give doctors a new way to predict which children will do best on the diet through a blood test looking for particular molecules found in blood cells.
The Chicago study is published in the journal Scientific Reports.