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ADVANCED MEDICAL NUTRITION

Addressing the need for guidelines

Nutricia supports patients with drug-resistant epilepsy with nutritional solutions that are prescribed as part of the ketogenic diet. It is a diet that needs to be calculated precisely to be effective for example on the tiniest of babies – a complex task for doctors, dieticians and parents alike. 

Ketogenic diet considered a suitable alternative to manage drug-resistant epilepsy

The ketogenic diet is a high fat and low carbohydrate diet that ensures adequate intake of protein for growth and development. Especially for infants and children with drug-resistant epilepsy, most health care professionals recognize the ketogenic diet to be a suitable alternative to manage the condition. Approximately 10-15% of children on the ketogenic diet gain seizure freedom, while about 50% of these young patients respond with at least 50% seizure reduction¹.

Dietary management of drug-resistant epilepsy

The dietary management of drug-resistant epilepsy requires involvement of a highly specialized multidisciplinary team. The diet needs to be calculated precisely, which is a complex task, additionally the patient needs to be continuously supported by the dietician to ensure the diet is adapted to, especially in the case of children, the patient’s response and growth requirements. 

Indepedent guidelines on the use of ketogenic diet in infants

The Nutricia AMN paediatric team facilitated the development and publication of independent guidelines on the use of the ketogenic diet in infants by leading experts in the field. A paper on these guidelines was first published in the European Journal for Paediatric Neurology². The full guidelines were printed in full and disseminated in September 2016 at the 5th Global Symposium for Ketogenic Therapies, where they were extremely well received by health care professionals and patient advocacy groups alike.

These guidelines are helpful and welcome

Professor of Neurology Erik Kossoff at John Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore, commented: “These guidelines are welcome and helpful for discussion about infants. More centres today than ever before are thinking carefully about using the ketogenic diet for infants”.

Read professor Kossoff’s entire commentary on www.epilepsy.com

¹Keene D L et al. A systematic review of the use of the ketogenic diet in childhood epilepsy. PediatricNeurology 2006; 35(1): 1-5.

²Van der Louw E et al. Ketogenic Diet Guidelines for Infants with Refractory Epilepsy. Eur J Paediatr Neurol 2016; 20(6): 789-809