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High-Fat Diets Reduce Seizures In Children With Absence Epilepsy

July 20, 2010: 11:22 AM EST
A U.S. study of children with absence epilepsy has found that more than 70 percent who were treated with high-fat diets (ketogenic and modified Atkins) experienced half as many seizures. Many of the patients experienced a 90 percent reduction in seizures. Absence epilepsy, which usually begins in childhood, is a condition in which patients have multiple daily “absent” staring spells. If the condition develops in adolescence, it can lead to more serious generalized seizures. The investigators recommend that physicians who are wary of the strict high-fat ketogenic diet discuss the Atkins diet with patients. Their advice is based on observations of 21patients with absence epilepsy treated with either high-fat diet at Johns Hopkins Children’s Hospital, and on a review of all studies on the subject published between 1922 and 2008.
Laura B. Groomes, Paula L. Pyzik, et al., "Do Patients With Absence Epilepsy Respond to Ketogenic Diets?", Journal of Child Neurology, July 20, 2010, © Sage Publications
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