Navigation Links
Fasting may benefit patients with epilepsy, Johns Hopkins Children's Center study suggests
Date:12/6/2012

Children with persistent and drug-resistant seizures treated with the high-fat, low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet may get an added therapeutic benefit from periodic fasting, according to a small Johns Hopkins Children's Center study.

The results, published online Dec. 3 in the journal Epilepsy Research, suggest the ketogenic diet and fasting can work in tandem to reduce seizures but appear do so through different mechanisms -- a finding that challenges the longstanding assumption that the two share a common mechanism.

"Our findings suggest that fasting does not merely intensify the therapeutic effects of the ketogenic diet but may actually represent an entirely new way to change the metabolism of children with epilepsy," says lead investigator Adam Hartman, M.D., a pediatric neurologist at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center.

In the study, six children, ages 2 to 7, and all on the ketogenic diet, were asked to fast on alternate days. All six children had seizure disorders incompletely resolved by the diet alone.

Four of the six children experienced between 50 percent and 99 percent fewer seizures after the fasts were added to the dietary regimen. Three of the six were able to continue the fasting regimen for two months or longer.

The Johns Hopkins investigators say while the results are preliminary, they do provide compelling evidence of the potential benefits of fasting. Periodic fasts, they add, may eventually prove to be an alternative standalone therapy in children with drug-resistant epilepsy.

The researchers caution that larger studies are needed to further elucidate the effects of fasting. They also warn that fasting should be done under the strict supervision of a pediatric neurologist.

Made up of high-fat foods and few carbohydrates, the ketogenic diet is believed to work by triggering biochemical changes that eliminate seizure-causing short circuits in the brain's signaling system. The diet, popularized in the early 1900s, was designed to mimic the physiologic effects of fasting -- a seizure-control method favored by ancient Greeks. Since then, physicians have believed that the two therapies share a common mechanism.

The new Johns Hopkins findings, however, suggest otherwise.

"We suspect that fasting affects nerve cells in a completely different manner from the ketogenic diet," Hartman says.

This hypothesis stemmed from a 2010 study of mice conducted by the Johns Hopkins team.

Two groups of epileptic mice -- one treated with the ketogenic diet and one treated with fasting -- had strikingly different responses to different seizure triggers. Animals treated with the ketogenic diet experienced fewer seizures than fasting mice when exposed to low amounts of electricity, but fared worse when they were injected with kainic acid, a potent nervous system stimulant and a known seizure trigger. Fasting mice, on the other hand, did worse when exposed to electricity but tolerated kainic acid injections far better than their ketogenic diet counterparts. In other words, the researchers say, each therapy protected against one seizure trigger, while increasing sensitivity to the other.

"We don't fully understand the reasons for these marked differences, but unraveling the mechanisms behind them will help pave the way toward new therapies for epilepsy, and is the focus of our ongoing work," says Eric Kossoff, M.D., pediatric neurologist and director of the ketogenic diet clinic at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center.


'/>"/>

Contact: ekaterina pesheva
epeshev1@jhmi.edu
410-502-9433
Johns Hopkins Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Fasting makes brain tumors more vulnerable to radiation therapy
2. Defined Contribution: A Healthcare Win for Brokers, Employers & Employees - Zane Benefits Publishes Information
3. Women and men appear to benefit in different ways from AA participation
4. Dec. 12 Atlantic Information Services Webinar to Address the Nuances of New HHS Essential Health Benefits Regulations
5. Benefit6 Whole Body Protection, a New Product by I Do Strive LLC, Provides Increased Energy Production According to Recent Studies
6. Consumers benefitted nearly $1.5 billion from the ACAs medical loss ratio rule in 2011
7. Benefit6 Whole Body Protection, a New Product by I Do Strive LLC, Provides Maximum Antioxidant Protection
8. Zane Benefits Publishes Information About Over-the-Counter (OTC) Medicines, Drugs and HRAs
9. Using an HRA to Comply with San Francisco's HCSO Requirements - Zane Benefits Publishes Information
10. New study review examines benefits of music therapy for surgery patients
11. The benefits of gratitude, how weight stigma affects health, and more
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/3/2016)... ... May 03, 2016 , ... ... – a web application that helps people assess their risk of developing Alzheimer’s ... app will provide users a “Risk Reduction Score™” that summarizes how their lifestyle ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... Baltimore, Md. (PRWEB) , ... May 03, 2016 , ... ... devastating consequences of inappropriate or excessive levels of alcohol use. Alcohol and its ... fetal alcohol spectrum disorders to the susceptibility to strokes in those 65 years and ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... ... May 03, 2016 , ... SELEX (systematic evolution of ... a random library of sequences depending on their attraction for a target molecule. ... selection is commonly performed using filters, panning, or affinity chromatography separations. However, these ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... Chicago (PRWEB) , ... May 03, 2016 , ... ... has hired award-winning creative director Joe Ferrazano to serve in the newly created ... Ferrazano will be overseeing the agency’s creative efforts in the Chicago and LA ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 03, 2016 , ... Elizabeth Murray ... pet parrots to join her with one on her shoulder and one on her ... a parking lot because of years of mitral valve prolapse. , The valves of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/2/2016)... , May 2, 2016  While nearly three-quarters of ... can have on their health, only about half report ... to the results of a new survey announced today ... the start of National Osteoporosis Month, Hologic is raising ... affects nearly 56 million Americans. Osteoporosis is ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... April 29, 2016 ReportsnReports.com ... 2016" market research report that provides an overview ... analysis at various stages, therapeutics assessment by drug ... (RoA) and molecule type, along with latest updates, ... reviews key players involved in the therapeutic development ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... , April 29, 2016 ... life science laboratory due to the growing demands for ... advance technology, contemporary automated systems are already adept of ... by slow, tedious and manual labor. Instrumentation continues to ... not even conceivable just a few years ago. Originally ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: