Epilepsy surgery is underutilized in this country...surgery isn't an option for all patients, though. The approach can work if there's only one problem area in the brain and if removing the area won't interfere with something like speech or memory. - William Gaillard MD
Today on NPR, the subject of adolescent epilepsy was discussed.
It appears that seizures are worse than originally thought as they can cause learning and other mental disabilities later in life. So, drugs, drugs and "underutilized" brain surgery was bandied about by the MD's as remedies to stop the seizures.
Much to my surprise, the low carb diet was mentioned by the reporter, but not a single doctor made mention of it.
"Another recent advance has been the resurgence in the use of low-carbohydrate diets, including the high-fat ketogenic diet that was used in the 1920s and 1930s before anticonvulsant drugs came along. Scientists say these diets appear to change brain metabolism in a way that reduces seizures for some patients."
In fact, research in this area is quite promising:
The ketogenic diet has been in clinical use for over 80 years, primarily for the symptomatic treatment of epilepsy. A recent clinical study has raised the possibility that exposure to the ketogenic diet may confer long-lasting therapeutic benefits for patients with epilepsy.
In general, it's a healtheir way to eat to boot.
So, why aren't all doctors who treat epilepsy looking into this treatment and saying logical things like: "First we should educate parents on how to feed their children a high fat, low carb/sugar ketogenic diet. This will most likely help greatly and may be all that is needed to stop the seizures. If this is not enough, then certain drugs can be administered in the lowest dosage possible of course. If for some reason both diet and medicine fail, then surgery may have to be considered."
But no. Let's just cut their heads open instead so they can eat their Cheerios with skim milk for breakfast, mac and cheese for lunch and pasta or pizza for dinner. Epilepsy surgery is underutilized? I think the low carb ketogenic diet is what is underutilized if you don't mind my saying so.
It seems that even the incredible power of human love for children is no match against the power of our addiction to sugar.