Fighting epilepsy with a ketogenic diet

Epilepsy is the fourth most common neurological condition in the world, impacting over 65 million people across the globe and about 450,000 children in the U.S. Since epilepsy disrupts brain activity, it can also affect a child’s ability to learn and function appropriately.

While medication can help control seizures in most epilepsy patients, research studies have shown that a ketogenic diet – a diet high in fat and low in carbohydrates – has the potential to treat certain types of epilepsy in children who don’t respond well to medication. As a decades old treatment plan for epilepsy, the ketogenic diet works by forcing the liver to convert fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies as a replacement for glucose as its primary energy source.

In a recently published TMC Pulse article, Dr. Dave Clarke, director of clinical epilepsy and pediatric neurology and developmental neuroscience at Texas Children’s, and Dr. Rebecca Schultz, a pediatric nurse practitioner at Texas Children’s Epilepsy Center, were interviewed about the benefits of a ketogenic diet and how this high-fat, low-carb regimen is helping patients manage their seizures. Click here to read the TMC Pulse article.

Clarke and Schultz also contributed a Texas Children’s blog that answers commonly asked questions about the ketogenic diet. Click here to read their blog.