An Exploration of the impact of a ketogenic diet on seizure reduction with people with Learning Disabilities and Epilepsy.
USE OF KETOGENIC DIET IN SEIZURE REDUCTION
Ketogenic Diet and Seizure Reduction in People with Disabilities and Epilepsy
A ketogenic diet comprises of adequate protein, high fat, and low carbohydrate levels. In medicine, a ketogenic diet is used for the treatment of refractory epilepsy. On adopting the diet, one’s body is forced to burn fats instead of carbohydrates. In cases where there are little carbohydrates in the body, then the liver has to convert the present fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies. On being created, the ketone bodies are passed into the brain where they replace glucose as the source of energy. As a result, there are elevated levels of ketone bodies in the blood; a state referred to as ketosis. According to Ijff et al. (2016, 154), Ketosis, results in a reduced frequency of seizures in epileptic children. Also, the article reported ketosis to have a positive impact on the children’s cognitive functioning. Kang et al., (2007, 83) also stated that ketogenic diet could be used for treating epilepsy as well as mitochondrial respiratory chain complex defects.
Critical Review of the Literature
The claim that a ketogenic is effective in treating epilepsy can be supported by a wide range of sources. In Rho (2017, 7) for instance, the author seeks to establish the ways in which a ketogenic diet successfully induces anti-seizure effects. Engaging in a study to establish how a ketogenic diet reduces seizures implies that the diet does function to reduce seizures in epileptic children Further, Zhang et al. (2018, 67) engages in a study to aimed at defining the anticonvulsant effects of adopting a ketogenic diet on epileptic seizures. Results from the basic and clinical studies presented in the article state that ketogenic diet can have impacts such as protection of the neuron against ROS, improvement of the neuronal membrane potential, and neurotransmitter function. The study supports the claim presented in Ijff et al. by concluding that a ketogenic diet optimizes therapeutic strategies that function against seizures in epileptic children.
Packer et al. (2016, 63) also engage in a study that establishes the effects of adopting a ketogenic diet on ADHD-like behaviors. Results of the study reveal that learning disabilities such as ADHD can be addressed by the adoption of a ketogenic diet. The study, therefore, supported the claim by Ijff et al. that a ketogenic diet can be used in the treatment of learning disabilities. In addition, a study presented in McTague et al. (2016, 307) sought to establish how ketogenic diets functioned to reduce epileptic encephalopathy in infants and children. According to the study, a ketogenic diet functions by providing the key nutrients required in developmental functions. In such cases, it becomes possible for the diet to address issues related to poor development in children, which in various cases can be associated with learning disorders and epilepsy in more severe cases.
Further, Jackson et al. (2015, 4) state that a ketogenic diet can be used as a non-pharmacological measure of intervention for people with epilepsy and intellectual disabilities. The study involves a randomized controlled trial involving non-pharmacological interventions for children with intellectual disabilities. The use of a ketogenic diet was stated as one of the most common non-pharmacological interventions that successfully enhanced intellectual abilities in children. Further, Ruskin et al. (2017, 139) engage in a study to establish the ways in which a ketogenic diet improves autism-related behaviors in children. The article presents a clinical trial whose results show that ketogenic diet enhances cognitive ability and tends to suppress symptoms of epilepsy. Additionally, Verrotti et al. (2017, 463) state that adopting a ketogenic diet can improve the health of children with various neurological disorders. One of the outlines positive outcomes of the ketogenic diet is the improvement of cognitive and social skills, which tend to reduce the extent of learning disabilities among children.
Paleologou et al. (2017, 56) present a study that reviews the use of ketogenic diet in the treatment of epilepsy and mitochondrial disorders. The source states that a ketogenic diet is usually effective in treating mitochondria disorders as a result of complex I deficiency. Further, the article states that additional research on the mechanism through which ketogenic diet treats epilepsy and mitochondrial disorders can facilitate the use of the diet in treating other neurodegenerative disorders. Frey et al. (2017, 284) on the other hand argues that increased levels of ketone bodies can alleviate mitochondrial dysfunction. The article goes further to state the ketogenic dies function by restoring Complex I in the patient’s body. Having the ability to restore Complex I makes ketogenic diet an effective alternative for treating refractory epilepsy and mitochondrial disorders.
A ketogenic diet can be used in the treatment of epilepsy and learning disabilities. Based on evidence from the selected sources, a ketogenic diet appears to be a more suitable measure for treating epilepsy as well as its associated cognitive and problems. Also, a ketogenic diet can be used to effectively treat mitochondria defects in children. In other occasions, a ketogenic diet is utilized to address learning disabilities among children. On adopting a ketogenic diet, it creates ketosis, which makes it possible for the body to create ketones that are more effective in fueling the brain to result in improved cognitive ability, reduced seizures, and complex defects associated with the mitochondrial respiratory chain.
Paleologou, E., Ismayilova, N. and Kinali, M., 2017. Use of the ketogenic diet to treat intractable epilepsy in mitochondrial disorders. Journal of clinical medicine, 6(6), p.56.
Frey, S., Geffroy, G., Desquiret-Dumas, V., Gueguen, N., Bris, C., Belal, S., Amati-Bonneau, P., Chevrollier, A., Barth, M., Henrion, D. and Lenaers, G., 2017. The addition of ketone bodies alleviates mitochondrial dysfunction by restoring complex I assembly in a MELAS cellular model. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA)-Molecular Basis of Disease, 1863(1), pp.284-291.
Kang, H.C., Lee, Y.M., Kim, H.D., Lee, J.S. and Slama, A., 2007. Safe and effective use of the ketogenic diet in children with epilepsy and mitochondrial respiratory chain complex defects. Epilepsia, 48(1), pp.82-88.
McTague, A., Howell, K.B., Cross, J.H., Kurian, M.A. and Scheffer, I.E., 2016. The genetic landscape of the epileptic encephalopathies of infancy and childhood. The Lancet Neurology, 15(3), pp.304-316.
Packer, R.M., Law, T.H., Davies, E., Zanghi, B., Pan, Y. and Volk, H.A., 2016. Effects of a ketogenic diet on ADHD-like behavior in dogs with idiopathic epilepsy. Epilepsy & Behavior, 55, pp.62-68.
Verrotti, A., Iapadre, G., Pisano, S. and Coppola, G., 2017. Ketogenic diet and childhood neurological disorders other than epilepsy: an overview. Expert review of neurotherapeutics, 17(5), pp.461-473.
Ruskin, D.N., Fortin, J.A., Bisnauth, S.N. and Masino, S.A., 2017. Ketogenic diets improve behaviors associated with autism spectrum disorder in a sex-specific manner in the EL mouse. Physiology & behavior, 168, pp.138-145.
Jackson, C.F., Makin, S.M., Marson, A.G., and Kerr, M., 2015. Non‐pharmacological interventions for people with epilepsy and intellectual disabilities. The Cochrane Library.
Zhang, Y., Xu, J., Zhang, K., Yang, W. and Li, B., 2018. The Anticonvulsant Effects of Ketogenic Diet on Epileptic Seizures and Potential Mechanisms. Current neuropharmacology, 16(1), pp.66-70.
Rho, J.M., 2017. How does the ketogenic diet induce anti-seizure effects?. Neuroscience letters, 637, pp.4-10.
IJff, D.M., Postulart, D., Lambrechts, D.A., Majoie, M.H., de Kinderen, R.J., Hendriksen, J.G., Evers, S.M. and Aldenkamp, A.P., 2016. Cognitive and behavioral impact of the ketogenic diet in children and adolescents with refractory epilepsy: a randomized controlled trial. Epilepsy & Behavior, 60, pp.153-157.
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