Epilepsy experts and paediatric neurologists from around the world believe the ketogenic diet should be used more regularly as a treatment plan instead of a last resort.
Speaking at the 2008 International Symposium for Dietary Therapies for Epilepsy and Other Neurological Disorders, the experts were interviewed about the diet and reported high success rates for children whose seizures cannot be controlled with medication. The experts oversee ten of the leading ketogenic diet programmes in the world and have used the treatment to help many children become completely seizure free.
These interviews not only add weight to the growing amount of evidence showing the efficacy of the diet but also provide a valuable resource of up to date information for parents, health care professionals and dieticians.
Each expert was asked three questions. Firstly, what priority does the ketogenic diet deserve in the treatment of children with difficult to control epilepsy? It was here that many discussed the need to use epilepsy as a viable treatment option much sooner after diagnosis rather than viewing it as a last resort. For example, Dr. Helen Cross of the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London said, “in an ideal world I think the ketogenic diet should sit alongside other anticonvulsants, particularly if one or maybe two drugs have failed.”
The second question asked was the success rate they had seen with the ketogenic diet and finally they were asked what parents should do if they have encountered medical resistance to the use of the diet. The overwhelming response was to push, push and push even more for a second opinion and referral to a specialist centre. Eileen Vining M.D from the Johns Hopkins Institute finishes by saying, “if your practitioner won’t respect your desire to go to a specialised epilepsy centre, you should get another practitioner.”
To watch all the interviews, click on the links below:
1) What priority does the ketogenic diet deserve in the treatment of children with difficult to control epilepsy?
2) What success do you see with the ketogenic diet?
3) What is your advice to parents who encounter medical resistance to the ketogenic diet?