Understanding the antiepileptic benefits of an Atkins-like diet

Some individuals with epilepsy fail to respond to treatment with conventional drugs but benefit from consuming a ketogenic diet — a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet similar to the more commonly known Atkins diet. A team of researchers, led by Detlev Boison, at the Legacy Research Institute, Portland, has now identified in mice the molecular mechanism responsible for the antiepileptic effects of the ketogenic diet.

The team found that a ketogenic 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 that fails to respond to treatment with conventional drugs shows increased levels of Adk.

The 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.

More information: A ketogenic diet suppresses seizures in mice through adenosine A1 receptors, www.jci.org/articles/view/57813?key=b823f84a9a31512e6849

Provided by Journal of Clinical Investigation

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Diet may eliminate spasms for infants with epilepsy

Sep 08, 2008

Infantile spasms are a severe and potentially devastating epilepsy condition affecting children aged typically 4-8 months. In a new study appearing in Epilepsia, researchers have found that the ketogenic diet, a high fat, l ...

Recommended for you

Leeches help save woman's ear after pit bull mauling

10 minutes ago

(HealthDay)—A pit bull attack in July 2013 left a 19-year-old woman with her left ear ripped from her head, leaving an open wound. After preserving the ear, the surgical team started with a reconnection ...

New pain relief targets discovered

11 hours ago

Scientists have identified new pain relief targets that could be used to provide relief from chemotherapy-induced pain. BBSRC-funded researchers at King's College London made the discovery when researching ...

Building 'smart' cell-based therapies

12 hours ago

A Northwestern University synthetic biology team has created a new technology for modifying human cells to create programmable therapeutics that could travel the body and selectively target cancer and other ...

User comments