Diet offering new hope on epileptic fits - Cambridge News

Thank you for using! This service has been made possible by all our customers. In order to provide a sustainable, best of the breed RSS to Email experience, we've chosen to keep this as a paid subscription service. If you are satisfied with your free trial, please sign-up today. Subscriptions without a plan would soon be removed. Thank you!

A BREAKTHROUGH  diet has transformed the lives of children with previously untreatable epilepsy.

Addenbrookes CambridgeDoctors and dieticians at Addenbrooke's have been treating a group of 30 epileptic children with a semi-starvation diet for the past two years as  standard drugs were ineffective.

The high-fat, low-carbohydrate and adequate protein diet is strictly controlled, and it is in this state of semi-starvation that the body produces ketones, which suppress the abnormal brain impulses that cause seizures.

Addenbrooke's is one of a handful of hospitals in the UK running the diet, which has been approved by national health organisation Nice, following a trial at Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital.

Dr Anna Maw, a consultant paediatric neurologist, said: "If you're fitting all the time, you can't learn and can't recover quickly, so these children lose skills.

"There are a proportion of patients here who have seen a big reduction in seizure frequency and severity. It's not a miracle cure, it doesn't work for everybody, but when it actually happens it's amazing.

"It offers hope for families and we have seen some transformed and that doesn't happen much in our line of work."

Laura Wearing, from Bury St Edmunds, was 9 when she was diagnosed with epilepsy. She was having up to 200 seizures a day and within two years had lost all speech. Now 14, Laura began the diet in November and her seizures are down to 50 a day.

Her mother Cathy said: "It's the little things that have made a difference, she can now say a few words and even wave goodbye. It's like having a bit of my daughter back.

"The diet does take time and effort, but it's worth it, and the staff at Addenbrooke's have been very supportive."

26 Sep, 2011

Manage subscription | Powered by

What's on Your Mind...

Powered by Blogger.