Summary: Children with a rare form of epilepsy called Doose syndrome experiences seizure reduction, with 47% becoming seizure free, after following a modified version of the Atkins diet.
Doose syndrome or myoclonic-astatic epilepsy is a rare syndrome accounting for one to two percent of childhood epilepsies.
A ketogenic diet, which is low in carbohydrates and high in fat, is an effective treatment, but it is very restrictive and difficult to follow.
In a recent study, 25 of 30 children (83 percent) with Doose syndrome who followed a modified Atkins Diet experienced a seizure reduction of at least 50 percent and 14 of 30 children (47 percent) were seizure-free.
“Toddlers are always very choosy for their food, so the modified Atkins Diet is a good choice for families with a child suffering from a Doose syndrome, as shown by our study: less restrictive than the classical ketogenic diet, easier to calculate, to cook, and having an optimal responder rate regarding seizure reduction as well,” said Dr. Adelheid Wiemer-Kruel, lead author of the Epilepsia study.
Funding: Funding for this study was provided by the National Institute of Aging, the National Institute on Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
Source: Gina DiGravio – Wiley
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Original Research: Abstract for “Modified Atkins diet is an effective treatment for children with Doose syndrome” by Adelheid Wiemer-Kruel, Edda Haberlandt, Hans Hartmann, Gabriele Wohlrab, and Thomas Bast in Epilepsia. Published online February 23 2017 doi:10.1111/epi.13701
Modified Atkins diet is an effective treatment for children with Doose syndrome
Children with myoclonic astatic epilepsy (MAE; Doose syndrome) whose seizures do not respond immediately to standard antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) are at high risk of developing an epileptic encephalopathy with cognitive decline. A classic ketogenic diet (KD) is a highly effective alternative to AEDs. To date, there are only limited data on the effectiveness of the modified Atkins diet (MAD), which is less restrictive and more compatible with daily life. We report findings from a retrospective study on 30 MAE patients treated with MAD.
Four participating centers retrospectively identified all patients with MAE in whom a MAD had been started before June 2015. Seven children were recruited from a cohort included in an open prospective controlled trial. A retrospective review of all available charts was performed in the other patients.
Thirty patients (24 boys) were included. Mean age at epilepsy onset was 3.1 years (range 1.5–5.6). MAD was started at a mean age of 4.5 years (range 2.2–9.1) after the children had received an average of six different AEDs (range 2–15). Mean MAD observation time was 18.7 months (range 1.5–61.5). Twenty of 30 patients were still on MAD at the end of study (duration range 1.5–61.5, mean 18.5 months). MAD was stopped without relapse in three patients after sustained seizure freedom for >2 years. For the other seven cases, ineffectiveness (three patients), loss of efficacy (two), or noncompliance (two) led to termination. No severe adverse effects were noted. By the end of the observation period, 25 (83%) of 30 patients experienced a seizure reduction by ≥50% and 14 (47%) of 30 were seizure-free. None of the evaluated factors differed significantly between the groups of seizure-free and non–seizure-free children.
MAD is an effective treatment for MAE. It should be considered as an alternative to AEDs or the more restrictive classic ketogenic diet.
“Modified Atkins diet is an effective treatment for children with Doose syndrome” by Adelheid Wiemer-Kruel, Edda Haberlandt, Hans Hartmann, Gabriele Wohlrab, and Thomas Bast in Epilepsia. Published online February 23 2017 doi:10.1111/epi.13701