October 16, 2018

Improving the Control of Epilepsy by Combining a Diet and a Drug

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It has long been recognized that some epilepsy patients, particularly children, can benefit from a high fat, low carbohydrate ‘ketogenic’ diet, where the activity of the diet was thought to be through the production of chemicals called ‘ketones’.

However, recent work led by Professor Robin Williams, from Royal Holloway’s Centre for Biomedical Sciences, suggest that it is fatty acids provided in the diet that block seizures, by inhibiting specific receptors in the brain.

In a collaboration with Professor Matthew Walker at the Institute of Neurology, University College London, and Dr Philip Chen also from Royal Holloway’s Centre for Biomedical Sciences, the team suggested that the diet could be combined with the drug Perampanel which is used to help reduce epileptic seizures by acting on the same receptors.

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