A team of researchers have found that consuming a ketogenic diet — a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet similar to the more commonly known Atkins diet may help some individuals with epilepsy who fail to respond to treatment with conventional drugs.
The team found that a ketogenic diet reduces seizures in mice by decreasing expression of the protein Adk, which is responsible for clearing the natural antiepileptic agent adenosine from the brain. The clinical relevance of these data are highlighted by the team's finding that brain tissue from patients with epilepsy that fails to respond to treatment with conventional drugs shows increased levels of Adk.
AdvertisementThe team suggests that their data could lead to the development of less-restrictive antiepileptic diets and alternate pharmaceutical approaches to treatment, notions with which Robert Greene, at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, concurs in an accompanying commentary.
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